Entertainment behind the scenes
Michael Jackson overshadows Farrah Fawcett on a sad day
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.
They 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.