Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Michael Jackson overshadows Farrah Fawcett on a sad day

By Dean Goodman
June 26, 2009

Farrah Fawcett had about four hours of headlines to herself on Thursday before Michael Jackson kicked her off the metaphorical front page. And both overshadowed Ed McMahon, who died on Tuesday.

jacko1They say celebrity deaths come in threes, but rarely do they come in such close proximity. The cancer-related deaths of former “Tonight Show” sidekick McMahon and former “Charlie’s Angel” Fawcett came as little shock, but Jackson’s was perhaps the most stunning celebrity exit since his friend Princess Diana died in a car crash in 1997.

Speaking of the so-called “People’s princess,” whose death basically paralyzed Britain and large parts of the world for weeks, she stole some of the thunder of Mother Teresa, who died five days later. And forget about conductor Georg Solti, who had the misfortune to die on the same day as the saint-in-waiting.

Jackson was pronounced dead at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The former president died on June 5, 2004, and the lengthy mourning period enveloped the death of Ray Charles five days later.

Speaking of presidents, John F. Kennedy was assassinated on the same day in 1963 that “Brave New World” author Aldous Huxley and “Chronicles of Narnia” author C.S. Lewis died. 

A would-be president, Barry Goldwater, died of a stroke in 1998. But people may have been focused on the murder of former “Saturday Night Live” comic Phil Hartman at the hands of his wife the day before.

In 2003, Hollywood old-timers Katharine Hepburn and Buddy Hackett died on the same day. But sometimes, it’s a toss-up who overshadows whom. British rocker Marc Bolan of T. Rex was killed in a 1977 car crash on the same day that opera diva Maria Callas died of a heart attack.


Don’t know really what to say in so many words except that I felt Farrah was left alone in the shadow of Michael Jackson’s death and it just bothered me so much I had to say something. I watch Farrah on Charlie’s Angels years ago and enjoyed the programme and after that just here and there in her career. Michael Jackson the same actually – thought he was a terrific dancer, loved Thriller and that was about it for me except for hearing about him hear and there in the news. Both had their own unique talent and therefore should be equally respected.

Thank you.


MOBIUS commented above that because of Fawcett’s sad death, MJ was called to Heaven on account of her wish — that the world be sage from predators. So, I guess now that Predator show won’t be coming on again since the world is so safe now and Woody Allen will be divorcing his daughter. Wow. What power to have such a wish granted.

Posted by marais morris | Report as abusive

A fan of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. May they both rest in peace. Michael Jackson’s death was a shock to the world and truly a tremendous loss to the world.

It was sad to learn of Farrah Fawcett’s illness approx. 3 years ago and over the years, months, weeks and days her days came to an end. I’m glad she is no longer suffering and is at rest now. She was truly an inspiration.

Michael Jackson touched people all over the world with his music and his talent. There will never be another Michael Jackson.

Regardless of all the allegations and rumors of him being “broke” — those things do not matter because he will be remembered for what he contributed to the world. His talent, his music and his message of caring for people will be the things that everyone will remember about Michael Jackson. Those other topics are only after thoughts. Rest in peace Michael. You will be GREATLY MISSED!!!!!!

Posted by Donna | Report as abusive

The fact that this article was even written shows the insensitivity of the media. These people are humans with people who love them. I’m sure Farrah’s family weren’t thinking too much about Michael Jackson’s death at all. For you (the writer of this article and Reuters) to make such a comparison proves that you’re leeches.

Screw what the public thinks. Michael and Farrah’s families lost a loved ones. Although we are sad, it does not compare to the pain of Farrah’s son or the pain of Mr. and Mrs. Jackson.

You guys need to be a bit more sensitive!! And have a little bit more class!!


celebrity deaths are always high profile, especially when they are well known. i grew up with both michael and farrah and enjoyed their special talents. my symphathy goes out to both families. they will be missed. godspeed

Posted by john | Report as abusive

This isn’t the first time two notable people passed on the same day, but somehow these two were the most shocking.Both were legendary pop culture figures, and both and one time symbolized glowing vitality..Farrah with that lions mane of hair, golden skin, and dazzling smile,that adorned millions of walls on that famous poster, and started a hair trend, the likes of which have never been equaled, and Michael with his unforgetable music, and extraordinary dance skills.

On a side note, I don’t know if Michael and Farrah ever met, but they shared a connection through Tatum O’Neal, who dated Michael in her teens, and is of course, the daughter of Ryan O’Neal

Posted by KLB | Report as abusive


Posted by LA.LOVE | Report as abusive

I was a fan of all three of those people, however I don’t see anything peculiar in the amount of coverage they get. There is simply no comparison of the impact Michael Jackson had on the world of entertainment with the impact od Farrah or Ed McMahon.

They were all celebrities – but Michael was waaaay more than that. He literally changed the world of entertainment, and was a true pioneer, innovator. His troubles would never make news without his sheer genius.

Posted by Wanda Loskot | Report as abusive

I am struck by the irony of the death of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett on the exact same day. Though they seem to be polar opposites in many ways, they have some things in common—the obvious one is that both were icons of the 70s and 80s. They reflected so many things about our interests, tastes, indeed our culture during those decades. Farrah was the embodiment of a natural beauty, a tan, blond, Barbie doll type of beauty that was truly the ideal of that time. Michael on the other hand, became famous for his creativity—his genius for singing and songwriting that embodied the spirit of his generation so well.

So they were famous for different things, but each seemed to yearn desperately for what the other had—Farrah strived to achieve a higher level of creative talent where Michael seemed to form an obsession with achieving some sort of Barbie doll beauty. While Farrah achieved some success in her creative endeavors, it was really her beauty that was her talent, and which she seemed to take for granted. Perhaps it’s easy to be beautiful—you are just born that way. But I would venture to say that she had a talent to project an irresistible energy in front of the camera that really reflected a unique talent. As for the creative endeavors, the acting, the “painting”, they simply paled in comparison to the talent that was Farrah in front of a camera. But she seemed dissatisfied being known just for that.

Michael, on the other hand, continued to perform creatively for most of his life, but in later years, that seemed to take a backseat to his face sculpting project that he eventually took to a rather grotesque extreme. I don’t think he ever anticipated that in all his efforts to achieve his ideal of beauty, he would achieve much the opposite. And furthermore, the pain he must have endured with so much surgery must have been quite distracting from his creative efforts. His struggles to deal with this pain through medication so that he could focus on his work may have ultimately been what led to his demise.

In the end, Michael’s story seems to be the more tragic, but both reflect a lot about our perfection obsessed culture today. We simply cannot accept ourselves as we are and embrace our true selves, our true talents, and be satisfied with that. We need to strive for an unattainable perfection in every arena—academic, professional, physical, intellectual. I don’t mean that it’s wrong to strive to better ourselves—of course that’s the American way—but I do think that, overall, we as a society have begun to take our desire for perfection to a dangerous extreme.

Posted by Susie Smith | Report as abusive

This comment is towards ‘joe june 27th’ how the hell does farrah get more ratings in specials than michael when the king was on gma,nightline,dateline,48 hours,today,and if there were a morningline he’d be on that too. you cant comepare the two at all. a couple years from now farrah will be forgotten and michael still king and talked about. now farrahs family culd be desparate to get attention and run a lil show about her but that wuld give her half of 1% compared to how much attention the king wuld (and has already gotten and will continue to get).-rest in paradise michael jackson. rip farrah fawcett

Posted by a.c.m | Report as abusive

the coverage of farah fawcett’s death in my opinion was appropriate. ms. fawcetts iconic fame revolved mainly around her pin up vision that(blonde hair, blue eyes) was the ultimate look of beauty. this was a false message that was fed and eaten by many millions. there are so many versions of beauty her exploited barbie doll looks can probably be attributed to the sad reason so many women have low self esteem and are opting for cosmetic surgery trying to improve upon the beauty they were born. can anyone tell me if farah ever used her celebrity to raise millions of dollars for charity. how many people did farahs celeb keep employed as michael jackson’s concerts, videos, cd’s, and philanthropic endeavors employed thousands. michael jackson not only changed the landscape of pop music he created it and brought prosperity back to an industry that was in financial straits. one could say that money and fame interrupted his genius but.. it could also be said that money and fame gave him the opportunity many wish they had… the chance to live out fantasy, be who you want and not have to answer to anyone but the Man above. farah fawcetts life was celebrated and her contributions to this society were given their just due. the same goes for Mr. Michael Joseph Jackson.

Posted by TWILA BALARA | Report as abusive

He’s truly a star. Irreplaceable. That’s why he overshadowed Farah.

Tragic,sad and shock ending to his life. No matter what, he’s truly entertainer, irreplaceable and all his successful story will be remembered.


The frist time I saw MJ was on an award show and I was about 8 or 9 the song was Dangerous and the frist question out of my mouth after, “Who’s he?” was “Why dose he look like a girl?” I have only 2 regrets now that I’m 18, 1 never getting to met him, and 2 ASKING THAT STUPID QUESTION!!!
Now that he’s gone I feel like half my life has gone with him and it will never be replased all I feel is pain, saddness, and I just don’t know how to cope with this. If all of us are having so much trouble copping with this imagine how his family is copping!
Well now I hope you’ve met all of your loving and supportting fans on your way home. We all know you will be there, we know we are not alone, and we know that you will come runnin if we need you. God bless you MJ! you’ve inspired me and a lot of others!!!
Andrea Brow
PS I pray rember the good not the bad!

Posted by andrea | Report as abusive

Michael did not die…..This is a conspiracy so he can go home. Long live Micheal and his little friends,

Posted by Mandy | Report as abusive

Why doesn’t anyone get the date of Mother Teresa’s passing right? She did not die 5 days after Princess Diana. Diana was killed on August 31, and Mother Teresa died on September 1st – a day apart. Like Michael Jackson did over Farrah, Mother Teresa’s death was overshadowed by the death of Princess Diana. Mother Teresa, however, would have wanted it no different. She wasn’t about any type of fanfare


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