Thursday, June 25, 2009

Celebrity Deathwatch

What a crazy fucking day. First off it's the news that Farrah Fawcett lost her heroic battle against anal cancer. I did not photograph Farrah Fawcett nor did I ever meet her. I did, however, know her longtime boyfriend Ryan O'Neal way back when I was living at a condo he owned in Malibu. But I'll save my RO stories for another time. I did meet two of the other Angels...Cheryl Ladd when we were on Merv Griffin the same night and Jaclyn Smith on two occasions. But again, those encounters have nothing to do with this post.

So, I was just absorbing the news of Farrah's demise when up popped the news that Michael Jackson had died. That pretty much knocked me on my ass. Then I heard that he'd been taken to a hospital and his condition was unknown. Then he was dead. Then he wasn't. Let me also point out that I did not have the privilege to shoot or see Michael Jackson live. On his first round of fame I was too young and on the second bout - when he became dubbed the King of Pop - I had stopped shooting for a time and was involved in the film biz and making a baby.

Then, before Michael was officially pronounced, I heard that Harrison Ford was missing from a yacht that sank near St. Tropez. Then it was Jeff Goldblum, who had died when he fell on a movie set in New Zealand - I've met Jeff Goldblum and I think it would take a mighty big fall to end his life. Anyway, thankfully, both of these appear to be hoaxes. Then, just moments ago, someone on Facebook reported that Vicki Lawrence also died today, citing an article on which I could not find, nor could I find any mention of her passing anywhere else online.

Which brings me to my point... Sometimes I long for the good old days when the news came via the Pony Express without all the conjecture and hysteria.

So, who else died today that probably really did die?

Shiv Charan Mathur, 83, Indian politician, Governor of Assam since 2008, and former Chief Minister of Rajasthan.

Sky Saxon, bass guitarist, frontman and founder of The Seeds, after a brief illness.

Anil Wilson, 62, Indian academic, Principal of St. Stephen's College, Delhi (1991–2007), pancreatic cancer.

Yasmine, 37, Belgian singer and television presenter, suicide. Yasmine's official website is now just one page with this photograph...

A beautifully poignant photograph.

Let's hope Mr. Death has done his due for the day and may all the souls he stole rest in peace. As for the hoaxers...don't you all have something better to do than start wildfires?

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