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#1 Posted by mtcantor (948 posts) -

With the latest slate of celebrity deaths, and specifically the passing of Michael Clarke Duncan, I started thinking about the famous folks who have died in my lifetime. Specifically, those whose deaths hit me hardest.

For me, it really comes down to two: Douglas Adams and George Carlin.

I still remember staring in shock at the news of Adams' death, and reading the instant outpouring of love on his website (still archived for everyone to see if you want to search it out). I was such a fan from such a young age, and he always seemed so vibrant. One of those people I always wanted to meet, and realized that I never would. Still, thank god you can get audiobooks of all of his novels read by him.

Carlin was huge for me too. Grew up on his comedy, got to meet him once in Boston, not long after his wife died. Amazing guy, also full of life, and when he died it just felt like the passing of a giant.

But lots of you folks are younger or older than me, and have very different life experiences. So, which celebrities have died in your lifetime whose deaths affected you the most?

#2 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

terry nutkins died today

#3 Posted by falserelic (5436 posts) -

Death will come to all of us eventually. Its something that we all have to embrace sooner or later. But it is sad to hear that Michael Clarke Duncan died. I really enjoyed watching his movies he was a great actor.

#4 Edited by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

Chris Benoit's death was just surreal to me.

Here's a guy I'd looked up to for years. He is arguably the greatest in-ring performer of all time and him winning the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania XX was just such a golden moment. The image of him and Eddie Guerrero celebrating in the ring at the end of that show with tears in their eyes being celebrated by a full packed Madison Square Garden after 18 years of being one of the hardest working men in the business and continuingly being told that he'd never make it was such a feel good story.

Then that fateful weekend happened. First reports said that Chris, his wife Nancy and their young son Daniel had been found dead at their home. Chris had no showed that Sunday's PPV and said he had to take care of his family who were sick. First news that trickled out gave the impression of carbon monoxide poisoning. That Monday there was a tribute show to Chris, showing some highlights of his career and wrestlers making heartfelt and candid interviews about how much they respected Benoit and what he had meant to them not only as a colleague, but as a friend. He was well known for always looking out for other people, making sure to call up and check on the condition of guys who were hurt and taking young wrestlers under his wing.

The next day the police came out with the facts. Over the course of the weekend Chris had strangled his wife, then his son and eventually hung himself. A man admired throughout the industry and by legions of fans had become a monster. All memories of him were forever tarnished. The mind can't fathom how somebody could do what he did. Sure the autopsy showed that his brain was in terrible shape and hopefully this was an act of madness and delusion, but it's still inexcusable.

Not only did he die. Not only did the spirit of his accomplishments die. Not only did the respect and admiration to him die. Most importantly an innocent woman and child died. And at their husband and father's hands. That's what hit me the most about it.

#5 Edited by CaLe (3983 posts) -

I had never been affected by the death of a celebrity, or anyone I didn't personally know for that matter, until the recent death of a journalist in Syria. For some reason this one really hit me. Maybe because the first story I read on it had a video of the father receiving news of the death and I saw his reaction, but yeah, hit me pretty hard. It was so unnecessary and avoidable... The fact it was a woman probably factors in somehow. I even went through the stages of mourning, over someone I never knew existed before they died. I can't understand it myself.

I should say this reaction from me wasn't immediate. It was her death that led me to finding out more about her and thus feeling somewhat of a connection to her that led to it really affecting me. Just knowing little things like she liked to read Sci-Fi novels in her spare time... Yeah, I should stop now.

#6 Posted by mtcantor (948 posts) -

Speaking of tragedy with Benoit, Phil Hartman's death at the hand of his wife was a huge shock.

This guy was great, he was in everything, and he genuinely seemed like such a good person in interviews. Yeah everybody dies, but man, what a terrible way to go.

#7 Edited by falserelic (5436 posts) -

@TeflonBilly: I remember when I first heard about that I was in shock. Till this day I wonder what drove him to kill his wife and kid, then himself.

#8 Posted by Max_Cherry (1133 posts) -

Fucking John Candy. The man was so young and had so much potential. Now, every time I see Eugene Levy, I can't help but think "It should have been you."

#9 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2341 posts) -

@TeflonBilly: Still weird to think about how they were just starting a whole "Who killed Vince Mcmahon?" storyline and then the week after they showed Vince blowing up in his limo hes just standing there all non-chalant talking about what happened to Benoit, which was then followed by a memorial.

And then he was never spoken of ever again.

Chris Farley's death didn't shake me at the time (I was too young to know who he was) but looking back it was just sad, especially considering there's photos.

#10 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3051 posts) -

It was sad to see Kirt Vonnegut go, but he had a pretty full and eventful life.

#11 Posted by Swoxx (2999 posts) -

Clarence Clemons and Steve Jobs for me.

#12 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

i suppose seeing ayrton senna crash and die at immola in 1994 stuck with me the most, was a massive fan. watching the Senna movies recently brought it back and i shed a little tear.

#13 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@falserelic: We'll never truly know, but the most widely accepted opinion after the brain autopsy done by Sports Legacy Institute headed by Christopher Nowinski (A specialist on post concussion syndrome) and their doctors was that he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative form of brain damage which wrestlers, football players and other athletes prone to multiple blows to the head may suffer from.

According to teh doctors Benoit's brain was in some of the worst shape they'd seen and likened it to a 85 year old Alzheimer's patient.

It's little solace, but hopefully it was dementia and not some unspeakable evil which was the main reason.

#14 Posted by skadave (199 posts) -

@Bell_End said:

i suppose seeing ayrton senna crash and die at immola in 1994 stuck with me the most, was a massive fan. watching the Senna movies recently brought it back and i shed a little tear.

I just watched the Senna documentary on streaming netflix. Such a sad story.

#15 Posted by Donkeycow (556 posts) -

I havn't really been effected terribly by any celebrity death. No one i've been a massive fan of has died tragically young in my lifetime, but i will be at least a bit sad i'm sure when Ridley Scott eventually goes, that man is a visionary.

#16 Posted by falserelic (5436 posts) -

@TeflonBilly said:

@falserelic: We'll never truly know, but the most widely accepted opinion after the brain autopsy done by Sports Legacy Institute headed by Christopher Nowinski (A specialist on post concussion syndrome) and their doctors was that he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative form of brain damage which wrestlers, football players and other athletes prone to multiple blows to the head may suffer from.

According to teh doctors Benoit's brain was in some of the worst shape they'd seen and likened it to a 85 year old Alzheimer's patient.

It's little solace, but hopefully it was dementia and not some unspeakable evil which was the main reason.

Damn, things sounded bad for him that's sad to hear. Thinking about it I heard on ign awhile back that a Chris Benoit movie was being made.

#17 Posted by skadave (199 posts) -

Patrice O'Neil's recent death hit me hard. I was/am a huge fan of his comedy and especially his frequent appearances on the Opie and Anthony Show. I think about him often.

#18 Posted by JacDG (2124 posts) -
@falserelic said:

Death will come to all of us eventually. Its something that we all have to embrace sooner or later.

I'm sure eternal life will have been invented by the time I reach that age. 
 
On topic, no celebrity death has really affected me so far, I'm sure it will come though as some of my childhood heroes/idols start to go, although I can't really predict who, perhaps someone like Eminem?
#19 Posted by dcgc (878 posts) -

When I followed Wrestling I was shocked about the Benoit death story. Not solely because of his dead, but because of the double murder and suicide that he committed. Really creepy.

#20 Posted by Little_Socrates (5677 posts) -

MCA hit me incredibly hard, partly because the outpouring of emotion was so nonstop. The man was what all people should strive to be.

I really noticed Michael Jackson and Neil Armstrong, but neither hit me especially hard. A generation of dudes I really care about is coming soon, though; everyone who's left from Motown, the British Invasion and 70's rockers, the 70's wave of directors, they all are probably headed out sometime soon.

#21 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

@skadave said:

@Bell_End said:

i suppose seeing ayrton senna crash and die at immola in 1994 stuck with me the most, was a massive fan. watching the Senna movies recently brought it back and i shed a little tear.

I just watched the Senna documentary on streaming netflix. Such a sad story.

pleased there has been no deaths in F1 since then... although alonso came pretty close on sunday

#22 Posted by predator (352 posts) -
#23 Posted by Bobby_The_Great (1004 posts) -
@mtcantor said:

Speaking of tragedy with Benoit, Phil Hartman's death at the hand of his wife was a huge shock.

This guy was great, he was in everything, and he genuinely seemed like such a good person in interviews. Yeah everybody dies, but man, what a terrible way to go.

Phil Hartman's death is the only celebrity death that really bugged me. He was hilarious, and one of the best voice-over characters for the Simpsons, and then gone. 
#24 Posted by mtcantor (948 posts) -

While it wasn't quite as huge as some of the others mentioned here, Raul Julia's passing was really sad when I was a kid. I loved the Addams Family movies, and man... for his last movie to be Street Fighter? What an inauspicious end for such a great legacy.

#25 Posted by destruktive (1069 posts) -

Dimebag Darrell.

His birthday was recently so I watched the news of his death again and I still feel bitter and angry about the whole situation.

#26 Posted by crusader8463 (14422 posts) -

I have never cared about a celebrity enough to care when they died any more so then hearing about some stranger. I would get a moment of thinking "Oh man. I liked that guys acting. Sucks he will never be in anything anymore." but that lasts a good 30-60 seconds then I move on.

#27 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Steve Irwin was the biggest shock to me, saw him live the year before feeding crocs at his Zoo in Queensland. The thing that I remember the most is that there were heaps of tourists waiting for him on the other side of the fence but he had positioned his dirt bike in a way that he vaulted over the fence onto it like a fucking cowboy and zoomed off away from the tourists, fucking legend!

@Bell_End: F1 is so fucking awesome, go Hamilton!

#28 Posted by Pop (2633 posts) -

@TeflonBilly: The Chris Benoit story was and still is the saddest thing I ever saw and when I think that the WWE can just delete him from history just makes it sadder.

I guess when Michael Jackson died I was pretty shocked and seeing his kids crying on TV made me shed a few tears too. Sad thread is sad.

#29 Posted by Veektarius (4826 posts) -

J.J. Johnson.

I recognize most of you probably have no idea who he is. I think I've seen like two forum discussions involving jazz. But J.J. was the guy who made jazz trombone work in the Bebop age of fast tempos and improvisation. He was an inspiration to me as a middle schooler and high schooler trying to get into jazz, and even as a composer, his "J.J. Johnson and the Brass Orchestra" was one of the most accessible pieces of modern big band jazz I've heard to this day.

http://grooveshark.com/#!/search?q=J.J.+Johnson+brass+orchestra

When I was in high school, I heard the guy on Marian McPartland's piano talk, talking about his next album, and I was understandably really pumped to hear it - he was even going to be playing a concert in my area in the next few months. (I never had the chance to see him live.) Next thing I heard from him was that he'd been diagnosed with cancer and shot himself. Full life, sure, but I'd say that's the biggest impact a celebrity death ever had on me.

#30 Posted by beepmachine (618 posts) -

The shot in Senna where he goes into the wall was really hard to watch. I kept thinking "is it this turn?" when in was playing, and then out of nowhere he lost control.

George Carlin definitely affected me. He also died on my Birthday so that was fantastic.

#31 Posted by CornBREDX (5276 posts) -

There's been a lot of celebrity deaths in my lifetime but I think the most poignant to me was Tony Scott. What a crazy one that was. 
Other then that, it sucked also that Ray Bradbury died but with that mainly its just because I'm getting old which means all my heroes are getting way old.

#32 Posted by Demoskinos (14826 posts) -

Benoit as others have said. Just fuck man.... I nearly cried reading Chris Jericho's book when he was talking about Chris. It never really dawned on me how deeply it affected so many people and seeing the perspective from one of his closest friends really brought it home for me.

#33 Edited by MooseyMcMan (11004 posts) -

I was hit surprisingly hard by the death of Andy Griffith this year. I think I ended up watching more episodes of Andy Griffith in the time since then than I have my entire life. Well, maybe not.

So far as wrestlers go, I'd say Eddie Guerrero is the one that affected me the most, mainly because I always like the out of ring stuff the best in wrestling, and Eddie was a funny guy.

Moderator
#34 Posted by Ramone (2966 posts) -

Gary Speed who played for Newcastle United when I was young hit me quite hard because he genuinely seemed like one of the nicest guys in football and it looked like he was on the verge of great things with the Welsh National team.

#35 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

Steve Jobs and Jim Henson's death hit me hard.

#36 Posted by mtcantor (948 posts) -

Oh man, how could I forget Mitch Hedberg?? I was such a big fan in college, saw him perform with Stephen Lynch just before he died. He was so talented, and had so much of his career ahead of him. Having him die just as things were taking off was just tragic.

#37 Posted by bartok (2480 posts) -

Phil Hartman's death bummed me out immensely.  It was amazing how much the guy influenced my childhood with his work on Pee Wee Herman, SNL, and of course The Simpsons.  Phil also did a lot of work behind the scenes on The Simpsons and it is really apparent in the dip of quality of the show after his murder. 

#38 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4744 posts) -

Although I was a big fan of both men, Eddie Guerrero's death was worse for me than Chris Benoit. Eddie was the man, yo. He was easily my favourite wrestler at the time, and reading his biography shortly after his death was a real kick in the balls.

The Rev's death was pretty bad too :(

#39 Posted by TyCobb (1972 posts) -

Must buy this shirt. To this day I still have to hear about his death.

#40 Posted by TheStimpinator (106 posts) -

MCA hit me the hardest of anything. I never got to see the Beastie Boys in concert and now its a dream that will go unfulfilled.

#41 Posted by psylah (2177 posts) -

I listen to a lot of Japanese music, and in the past few years there have been a few deaths of members of major bands that were pretty serious.

The scary part is, usually the cause of death is never disclosed, and the fact that the person had even died isn't known to the public until after burial.

Sure, they do that so that the family can have a private ceremony. They are also trying to prevent mass suicides by overzealous fans, like what happened after the death of hide, but it's still disheartening to know that they are gone and will never know why.

#42 Posted by Jrinswand (1709 posts) -

Michael Clarke Duncan died?!

#43 Posted by JackSukeru (5912 posts) -
#44 Posted by Svenzon (720 posts) -

Robert Altman is one of my favorite (perhaps even no 1) directors and the day he died was genuinely sad. I had just finished Altman On Altman and seen The Long Goodbye for the first time when it happened. Sure, he was old and not very healthy, but still. Say what you will about his output, but he never tried to please everyone. I wish more fimmakers could be like him.

#45 Posted by skadave (199 posts) -

I forgot about Bernie Mack . . . his death rattled me up a bit too.

#46 Posted by kogasu (148 posts) -

@predator said:

http://www.jame-world.com/us/news-77287-former-x-japan-bassist-taiji-passes-away.html

I remember watching him reunite with X Japan as a guest just the year prior.

I didn't start listening to X Japan until after they already had their current bassist but I remember hearing about this. I wish I had followed him more but I had no idea what he was doing after he left. He was a great bassist and songwriter for X.

#47 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

I think it's depressing that we lost both Andy Griffith AND Goober Pyle in the same year. I grew up on The Andy Griffith Show, and by all accounts, Andy Griffith seemed to be a genuinely great person. Also, his role in A Face In The Crowd is one of the greatest performances in cinema history. That movie was also eerily prophetic.

#48 Posted by camp7203 (121 posts) -

John Candy and Mr. Rodgers! Why!?!

#49 Posted by DoctorDanger99 (686 posts) -

@TeflonBilly: i feel ya man. i grew up watching him on WCW and when i found out what really happened. i was shocked. the sad thing is i really cant even enjoy the memory of him.its all tarnished now.

#50 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@DoctorDanger99 said:

@TeflonBilly: i feel ya man. i grew up watching him on WCW and when i found out what really happened. i was shocked. the sad thing is i really cant even enjoy the memory of him.its all tarnished now.

It took me a long while to be able to set up a sense of selective amnesia when watching Benoit matches. The guy was a true artist inbetween the ropes, and I've learned to enjoy his matches again. To some degree. There are times I just have to stop cause I get overwhelmed thinking about his actions.

I mean remember how sleazy of a business the wrestling world actually is. Shawn Micheals was a deplorable asshole during the 90s, he's still one of the best ever. Dynamite Kid was a straight up psycopath, doesn't make his series with Tiger Mask any less groundbreaking to watch. Hulk Hogan is a politicking asshole who was a big part of killing WCW and Warrior once told a Make-A-Wish kid to fuck off, doesn't make their Wrestlemania 6 match any worse. Edge and Lita cheated on Matt Hardy, I still love their run as the Rated R power couple. John Cena is probably one of the hardest working and nicest men in the business, I still hate him with a passion and hope he gets injured just enough to stay off my television.

Wrestling is kind of a weird case of doublethink to me due to me forcing a cognitive dissonance upon myself to accept kayfabe as well as assessing the technical merits of a match or the pathos and storytelling of an angle.