Monday, June 30, 2008

Dead Pool June Update

We're halfway through the year now and on the downhill run to the finish line.

With the scores still nil-all, it's anyone's (or possibly even no-one's) game.

The month began in a big way, with the death at 71 of legendary designer Yves Saint-Laurent on the 1st, and legendary bluesman Bo Diddley on the 2nd at age 79.

The 8th saw the death of actor Robert J. Anderson, who played the young George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life. He was also, of course, briefly immortalised in Tom Black and the Caesars' legendary video Tahoe . . . timecode 2:09 for those playing at home.

On the 10th it was reported that Paul Newman had been diagnosed with lung cancer, causing him to drop out of directing a stage version of Of Mice and Men.

On the 15th Stan Winston, Academy-award-winning special effects genius behind the Terminator films, Predator and AI: Artificial Intelligence. His swansong was the truly excellent Iron Man, so he definitely went out on a high note.

The 17th saw the death of actress and dancer Cyd Charisse, after a heart attack the day before. She was 86.

On the 18th Fidel Castro appeared on an official video, again putting to rest rumours that he kicked it two years ago. Many remain unconvinced.

On the 21st puppeteer Kermit Love, longtime associate of Jim Henson and designer of both Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus passed away at the age of 91. Astonishingly, his name is just a coincidence.

On the 22nd Jane McGrath, wife of cricketer Glenn McGrath, passed away after complications from cancer surgery. She was 42.

Finally, and also on the 22nd, legendary comedian George Carlin died of heart failure at the age of 71. He will be sadly missed, but his influence on the world of comedy, and his seven words, will live forever.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Dead Pool May Update

Celebrity deaths were thin on the ground in May, although there were a few lost souls for whom their work is more famous than their name.

On the 5th Irv Robbins, co-founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain, passed away at the age of 90. His partner Burt "Butch" Baskin had died in 1967 aged 54.

On the 8th Murray Jarvik, co-inventor of the nicotine patch passed away. Irony requires that he died of emphysema or something.

But no, it was congenital heart failure. So no comedy gold there then.

On the 10th Jessica Jacobs, the 17-year-old star of The Saddle Club was tragically killed when she was hit by a train.

On the 15th we farewelled artist Will Elder, a long-time contributor to Mad Magazine and creator of one of the best self-portraits I've ever seen:

On the 24th comedian Dick Martin, star of iconic comedy show Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In died at the age of 86.

Also on the 24th young British actor Rob Knox, who will appear as Marcus Belby in the forthcoming Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince, was killed in a street brawl in London.

The 25th saw the death of J.R. Simplot, founder of the company that provides more than half of the potatoes for McDonald's French Fries. He died at the age of 99 an incredibly rich bastard.

Finally, on the 26th we lost actor and director Sydney Pollack at the age of 73. Pollack was the director of classic films Tootsie and Out of Africa. And he was great in Eyes Wide Shut. Remember that? 'Course you do.

And that's it for May. No points yet for our entrants, but we continue to hope.