Game Time: 2009 -- A Celebration In....Death?

Categories: Game Time
Every year around this time, it's not uncommon to stumble across a retrospective of some sort that pays tribute to those who have passed away, typically those with some modicum of celebrity status. I'm always amazed at actually how few deaths there are most years. I mean, I'm no actuary, but when you consider the thousands of people in this world who would be considered "celebrity" on some level, the math seems to favor more deaths each year. Weird. (These are the things I think about in my spare time; it's not easy being me.)

Well, 2009 is a year where the gods were playing "catch up" on this whole celebrity death thing. It culminated in late June when Farrah Fawcett lost her bout with cancer (two days after Ed McMahon left us), and just as we were all mourning her death, Michael Jackson's card gets pulled the SAME DAY. It's almost as if Farrah Fawcett got cheated; I mean, if you're the Fawcett family doesn't it feel like firguratively you were getting all of the attention and then when Jacko died, everyone ran over to the Jackson house and left you high and dry? Billy Mays leaving us three days later was the icing on the June Death Cake.

So in this week of Top 10 lists for nearly everything, here are the list of 2009 deaths that had the biggest impact on me personally. Without further ado...

10. ED MCMAHON (1923-2009)
I never knew if that whole Publisher's Clearing House thing where McMahon showed up on your front door with a check was real or a myth. And now I'll never know. McMahon gave hope to every working octogenarian that they would continue to find good work. To wit, his final salvo -- Gangsta commercial....

9. MICHAEL JACKSON (1958-2009)
The king of pop passing away probably ranks a lot higher on most lists (like eight spots higher), but for me it only reaches ninth place. And if it weren't for the televised funeral and hearing everyone tell someone named "Blanket" how much his dad loved him, it may not have shown up on my list at all. Sorry, but this is MY list.

8. FARRAH FAWCETT (1947-2009)

Is there any way we could get an accurate count on how many loads of dirty laundry were caused by the sexy "Farrah Fawcett in bathing suit" poster back in the late `70's? A million? A trillion? In celebration of Farrah, here is one of the great intro's to a `70's show ever...


7. JAMES WHITMORE (1921-2009)

You all are probably saying "Who?" Understandable. But Whitmore makes this list for three reasons. First, he played Brooks in The Shawshank Redemption, famous for the suicide where he reminded everyone via wood etching "Brooks was here." Second, he played Ken Reeves father in The White Shadow, and anything Shadow-related makes the list. Third and most amazingly, he was married to Audra Lindley for many years; she played Mrs. Roper in Three's Company. For years, it was clear very few men could keep up with Mrs. Roper's libido, but this guy managed to do it in real life! Kudos! Good enough for 7th place..

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