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Friday, January 25, 2008

R.I.P. Heath Ledger, Brad Renfro & TBD

I'm not sure how the reaction was outside of the entertainment industry, but when Heath Ledger died on Tuesday, it was like the shot heard round the world. I was a fan of most of his work. He got a quick start, hit a hull and came back with a vengeance in the last few years. I am super psyched to see his take on The Joker in this summer's The Dark Knight. His sudden death reminds me a lot of River Phoenix, who keeled over right after his awesome turn as young Indiana Jones in the The Last Crusade.


Not nearly as surprising, but just as unfortunate was last week's passing of Brad Renfro, at age 25. He'd had trouble with drugs for a while so it wasn't as surprising as Heath, but still a loss. He'd had a huge start with The Client, Sleepers and Bryan Singer's Apt Pupil, but then his films pretty much dropped off of the radar, including the brilliant little film 'Bully'.


No, I'm not writing obituaries for these guys. Their passing was tragic and all that, but the point of this little post is a warning notice for young celeb #3 that will inevitably pass between now and, mm, Valentine's Day. Someone along the lines of, say, Balthazar Getty. Or the lead singer of Silverchair. Something like that.

You don't believe me?

Let's look at some past clusters of celebrity deaths:

12/16 Dan Fogelburg
12/12 Ike Turner
11/30 Evel Knievel

11/10 Norman Mailer
11/30 Robert Goulet
10/18 Joey Bishop

9/23 Marcel Marceau
9/5 Luciano Pavarati
8/20 Leona Helmsley

8/12 Merv Griffin
7/30 Tom Snyder
7/30 Ingmar Bergman

7/21 Tammy Faye Bakker
6/29 Joel Siegel
6/27 Liz Claiborne

5/27 Charles Nelson Reilly
5/15 Jerry Fallwell
5/1 Tom Poston

4/26 Jack Valenti
4/23 Boris Yeltsin
4/11 Kurt Vonnegut

The only freakish death without company last year was Anna Nicole Smith. So anyway, just by comparing celebrity deaths we should have another young one coming up shortly. Hey kids, maybe we all lay off the drugs or strenuous physical/mental activities for a few weeks, whaddayasay?


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