The Eclipsed Celebrity Death Club

We will remember you! We will remember you! Photo: Getty Images

Poor Farrah Fawcett. A month ago, People magazine’s Larry Hackett admitted to the Times that she only had one remaining chance for some friendly press:
“At this point, Farrah has to die,” he said. “It’s the only cover left for her.” Needless to say, she’s missed her chance. Having vanished from the headlines after Michael Jackson’s sudden demise, Farrah is just the latest to join a peculiar group: the Eclipsed Celebrity Death Club.

The classic ECD example is Groucho Marx, who passed away the same week as Elvis Presley, and thus missed out on a good week’s worth of TV tributes. But the easiest way for a famous person to vanish from the earth without so much as a blip is to follow a president of the United States. Ray Charles caught barely a moment’s coverage when he died in 2004, right in the middle of the weeklong blanket coverage of Ronald Reagan’s death and funeral. Same story for James Brown, who got some press but definitely ran second to Gerald Ford. (The only person who could square off against a dead head of state, it seems, was Mother Teresa. When she died a few days after Princess Diana, a good deal of the coverage tried to frame them as comparably angelic figures.) And don’t forget Alice Trillin—granted, not a worldwide celebrity, but a beloved figure to her husband Calvin’s thousands of New Yorker-­reading fans. While awaiting a heart transplant, she died on September 11, 2001, following the horrible deaths of thousands of New Yorkers. Most of her husband’s readers only learned about it many months later, when he published About Alice.

The championship trophy for badly timed death, though, goes to a pair of British writers. Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World, died the same day as C.S. Lewis, who wrote the Chronicles of Narnia series. Unfortunately for both of their legacies, that day was November 22, 1963, just as John Kennedy’s motorcade passed the Texas School Book Depository. Huxley, at least, made it interesting: At his request, his wife shot him up with LSD a couple of hours before the end, and he tripped his way out of this world. Which, if you’re going to go to your reward without anyone’s noticing, is probably not a bad way to end it all.

By: Christopher Bonanos

Tabloid’s Horrific Details on Jackson Autopsy ‘not Accurate,’ says LA Coroner

Was Michael Jackson‘s demise reminiscent of the death of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes?

It certainly sounded like it in the  Sun’s report on supposedly leaked details from Michael Jackson’s autopsy. The British tabloid claimed he was bald and emaciated, with a needle-marked and surgery-scarred body.

But The Times reports, on L.A. Now, that the Los Angeles coroner’s office has dismissed these reports. An autopsy was done Friday by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Toxicology tests will take several weeks to complete.

Assistant chief coroner Ed Winter said the Sun’s details did not come from either the private or the county autopsy.

“I don’t know where that information came from, or who that information came from. It is not accurate. Some of it is totally false,” said coroner’s spokesman Craig Harvey.

Some? The Sun report describes Jackson as weighing 112 pounds. His stomach was completely empty except for partially dissolved pills. It claims his hips, thighs and shoulders were covered with needle wounds. 

It gets worse…

296045831_f5688018fe According to one Sun source, the “injection marks all over his body and the disfigurement caused by years of plastic surgery show he’d been in terminal decline for some years.”

The Sun also reported fresh injections around his heart from attempts to pump adrenaline into it to jump-start it.

We will have to wait for weeks for final autopsy results.

But hopefully they will not — like these false reports — reveal a man who, like Howard Hughes, lived a reclusive, unhealthy and drug-addicted life for the last years of his privileged existence.

LA Times

A Glimpse Into Tim Burton’s ‘Wonderland’

USA Today published these stunning images from Tim Burton‘s upcoming film ‘Alice in Wonderland’, currently set to hit theaters on March 5, 2010. Wowza.

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Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter

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Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen of Hearts
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Anne Hathaway as the White Queen
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Tweedledum and Tweedledee
From FBLA

21 Million Watch Networks’ Michael Jackson & Farrah Fawcett Specials

Five hours of last night’s primetime schedules on the big 3 were produced by the news divisions, with ABC, CBS and NBC crashing multi-hour reports on Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. But it was ABC’s Fawcett special at 10pm that was the night’s #1 show, averaging 8.2M Total Viewers.

ABC
9-10pm — “20/20” Jackson – 5.7M
10-11pm — “20/20” Fawcett – 8.2M

CBS
10-11pm — “CBS Special” Jackson (with one Fawcett piece) – 7.6M

NBC
9-11pm — “Dateline” Jackson/Fawcett – 5.8M

• At 9pm ABC and NBC tied for second place with a 1.7 rating in A18-49. (Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” led the hour with a 2.5 rating.)

• At 10pm 21.6 million Total Viewers tuned in to ABC, CBS and NBC for their news specials.

TV Newser

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Academy Now Toughens Best-Song Rules

Academy Awards organizers say they will give out no Oscar for best song next year if none of the tunes is considered good enough.

Rules for the 82nd Oscar show next March will require that at least one song must achieve a minimum score of 8.25 on a scale of 6 to 10 in voting by members of the academy’s music branch.

If no song scores that well, there will be no best-song Oscar awarded. If only one song reaches that score, then it and the tune with the next-highest score will be the category’s two nominees.

The number of nominees in the category can range from two to five depending on how many hit the minimum score.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Mayor Bobblehead Showdown Set for Saturday

I literally can’t wait for tomorrow. I’m hoping to catch my first ever Reno Aces, but I also want to snag a bobblehead for my father.

He went to high school with Geno Martini. And even weirder – I went to high school with his daughter. Small town.

“My head is far more attractive as a bobblehead than Mayor Bob; I even wiggle better,” said Sparks Mayor Geno Martini.  “Cashell needs to get a mitt and get in the game! While I expect to prevail in the showdown, I am looking forward to the results with my good friend, the Mayor of Reno.” 

Martini’s bobblehead depicts the Sparks mayor in a white Aces jersey, while Cashell’s bobblehead dons a grey Aces jersey.

“Geno Martini, you probably do look better as a bobblehead than me,” said Reno Mayor Bob Cashell. “But I would seriously suggest you get busy growing some more hair. Everyone knows I can out-wiggle you anytime. While I expect to prevail in the showdown, I, too, am looking forward to the results with my good friend, the Mayor of Sparks.”

blog post photo

latime