The Celebrity Dead Pool has been sadly neglected over the last three months, but this hasn’t stopped our celebrity friends dropping off the perch at a rate of knots.
So here’s a quick catch-up.
On the 14th of February we lost, at the age of 89, Welsh novelist Dick Francis. This was a man who managed to turn his interest in horse racing into a lucrative horse-race-based-crime-novel career.
Seriously. How many people can claim that?
On March 10, 1980s screen darling and 2000s reality TV dropout Corey Haim tragically died at the age of 38.
On March 14, we bid a fond farewell to actor Peter Graves at the age of 83. Graves was star of the original classic Mission: Impossible series and the utterer (in the just-as-classic Airplane!) of that immortal line: “Do you like gladiator movies?”
March 15 saw the death of Australian children’s book author Patricia Wrightson at the age of 88. Her legacy includes the much-loved novel The Nargun and the Stars which, along with the subsequent TV series, was instrumental in introducing a whole generation of Australian kids to indigenous legends and creepy horror stories.
On March 24 we lost actor Robert Culp at the age of 79. Culp remains one of the first and easily one of the best wisecracking badass TV sidekicks we’ve ever had.
Whether it was opposite a crappy superhero in The Greatest American Hero or a crappy comedian in I, Spy, he always managed to bring the funny. (Although not so much in that episode of The Outer Limits. That was just weird).
The 8th of April saw the death of artist, singer, musician, manager, designer and shameless self-promoter Malcolm McLaren at the age of 64.
What more can we say that hasn’t been said? Maybe Yellow Planetary Digital Reversion. But seriously, that’s about it.
On April 10 actress Dixie Carter, star of the iconic 1980s series Designing Women died at the age of 70. There is no truth whatsoever to the rumour that her coffin had to be widened to accommodate her shoulder pads.
And I’m ashamed of myself for starting it.
The 19th of April saw the death-by-assassination-with-a-piece-of-exercise-bike of notorious Australian criminal Carl Williams.
He was … um … notorious but … I’m sure … much loved by his family and the members of his gang … who are all very good looking and … nice to their mothers and … hug puppies at every opportunity.
On May 2 we farewelled actress Lynn Redgrave. A brilliantly versatile actress, Redgrave was just as comfortable on the Broadway stage as she was playing the foul-mouthed Trudy in TV’s Rude Awakening. The world of entertainment is poorer for her passing.
Butterfly Ball video. Still. That’s very cool.
On May 22 Martin Gardner, a founding member of CSICOP and one of the founders of the modern Skeptic movement, passed away at the very respectable age of 95.
As a math nerd, I’ve followed Martin Gardner’s work for years. Through numerous books and his regular “Mathematical Games” column in Scientific American, Gardner managed to make a connection between mathematics and storytelling that few have managed to repeat.
Expect reruns of The Gary Coleman Show on a poor-taste cable network near you.
And finally, on May 29 the world lost the great Dennis Hopper at the somewhat surprising (for anyone who knew him) age of 74. As a tribute, may I suggest a movie marathon of Easy Rider, Blue Velvet and My Science Project. Classics one and all.
And with that, we’re all caught up.
The scores have yet to move from their previous position, so Tom is still leading the pack on 9 points.
Thanks for checking in. And stay tuned for further updates.