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.


michael who?
five massive albums, funky dancing, ridiculous plastic surgery making a mockery of his race and gender, an increasingly bizarre attitude to the world and a possible unhealthy interest in small children……..
I wonder what he will be remembered for the most

Posted by craig | Report as abusive

craig unfortunately you’ve got three fingers pointing towards your own face…See them??
Grow up…

Posted by ali mm | Report as abusive

Farrah was a classic beauty that will never be forgotten. One of the most famous hairdo’s and pinups of her era. I am already tired of hearing about Michael, he has taken over the radio, internet and television.

Posted by Alex | Report as abusive

I am not attempting to discredit him in anyway. I just feel the mass media frenzy over Michael is already played out.

Posted by Alex | Report as abusive

I love you, Farrah.

Jonathan of Malaysia

Posted by Jonathan | Report as abusive

What about Johnny Cash and John Ritter on 9/11/03?

Posted by jake | Report as abusive

When i heard & saw the news this morning I was @ work already, I wanted to cry soooo bad thinking that we losta alegend in the music industry.My heart is so breaking I cant help but hold back my tears. I LOVE U Micheal, I will dearly MISS U, may your soul REST IN PEACE, this world won’t be a better place without you.

Posted by Beryl | Report as abusive

A very sad day for pop
There will always be someone with a sick joke about this but they need to grow up
He was a human being produced from the love of his parents
An absolutely fantastic showman and performer
He will be greatly missed and will have a devastating effect worldwide

Posted by colin | Report as abusive

To Craig,
I will remember him for his unbelievable contribution to the music industry. No doubt for most of his life he was dogged by controversy but unfortunately that is the downside to being too famous.

Posted by The Observer | Report as abusive

Get a grip who actually cares about Michael Jackson, the way I see it, its one less kiddy molester.

Farrah Fawcett now she was a really good actress and its such a shame that she has passed away. RIP Farrah you done some great work and will never be forgotten x x

Posted by cheryl | Report as abusive

Farah was the girl many men dreamed of during the seventies and beyond, a courageous woman has gone, RIP.


You were an icon of beauty and courage Farah, a true example of girlpower. May the angles be with you.


To cheryl,

Obviously a lot more people care about Michael than they do about Farrah, which is why he’s getting so much more air-time. I’m sad for both of them, but I never knew Farrah that well. MJ on the other hand was a megastar that transcended international boundaries. He was the first artist I’d ever seen perform, and I was in China back when I first saw the Motown 25 Special. His fame is known throughout the world and the tendrils of his influence extend to nearly everyone in the music and entertainment industries today. He was responsible for shaping at least two generations of popular culture. A lot of people grew up on his music and were influenced by him through life.

To lose someone like him is a massive cultural setback to the world and the impact will reverberate for years to come. Saying this was just the death of another child molester shows that you have absolutely no grasp on the importance of this immense historical figure, and also shows your poor ability in uncovering malicious lies.

MJ has had thousands, possibly tens of thousands of sick children come to his house so that he may make them happy and help them get better. His intentions were benevolent but people like you want to malign him for his appearance and strange behavior, because you fear the worst from what you don’t understand. If he really did anything bad to the kids, the cat would have been out of the bag within weeks, not years, because we all know how well kids are able to keep secrets. No amount of wine, treats, money, sweet talk or threats could have kept so many molested kids from spilling the beans unless nothing ever took place to begin with. In both accusation cases, there was significant evidence of plotting by the children’s parents to blackmail MJ.

So do a little research before you slander MJ’s good name. The man is dead now, show some respect.

Posted by Song | Report as abusive

MJ was definitely overrated and, in my opinion, a pervert. However, I’m sure it’s still sad for his family – oh well, such is life. For me, the real tragedy is Farrah Fawcett – she made such an impact in the entertainment industry. She will be truly missed.

Posted by Infectia Stype | Report as abusive

MJ was a very talented guy. I’m only 20 years old and I grew up with his music and still listen to it today. And I agree with Song, do your research!! You can tell he was set up, and that isn’t what ALL people will remember!!!


Both celebrities made an impact with older generations, todays generation will remember MJ more so. Farrah had her self together and knew what she wanted, her past was close to normal and the fame took her in, but kept a even keel and unfortunately was struck down by cancer. Michael Jackson was a poor lost soul that never had a childhood due to the fathers relentless goal to make his children his meal ticket. MJ was extremely talented and I believe had to go into his own world of bizarre behavier just to escape the pressure. He was an innocent child in his own mind and never got the chance to grow up. May they both RIP.

Posted by Rich | Report as abusive

Groucho Marx died only three days before Elvis Presley in August 1977. Understandably but unfortunately, Marx’s death received very little media attention.

The same goes for Robert Mitchum, who died the day before Jimmy Stewart.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

The media coverage of Jackson’s death is over the top. There is a related post at

Posted by carly | Report as abusive

having grown up with the J5, i prefer to remember him for his talent and musical contributions. and not what were obviously mental health problems later on in his life.

Posted by jane | Report as abusive

I always thought that the media were to be unbiased, reporting equitably, but that concept has proven to be non-existent in the deaths of Farrah Faucett and Michael Jackson. They seem to claim that the bigger the star THEY think you are the more coverage they will give you. What they fail to realize is that maybe both celebrities have an equal fan following. Maybe Farrah’s fans aren’t as outspoken as Jackson’s. I think it was wrong that the media, who started to cover Ms. Faucetts’ death as a big deal suddenly stopped her coverage as soon as they learned of Jackson’s death. It was almost like Farrah’s death didn’t matter anymore,

Posted by Doug Hosie | Report as abusive

And don’t forget Jim Henson (Muppets creator) who was overshadowed by the death of Sammy Davis, Jr. who died on the same day (May 16, 1990).

Posted by Jemma | Report as abusive

The loss of Farrah is indead sad. However, we have been expecting her to pass for months how. The unexpected death of Michael being such a shock is why his news overpowered Farrah’s. Both will be truly missed. My heart goes out to all family members involved.


Farrah Fawcett arrives at the pearly gates and Saint Peter Grants her one

wish, so she thinks for a minute and says “I wish all the children in the

world to be safe”.

The next day Micheal Jackson dies from heart attack.


With genius sometimes comes eccentricity, MJ was both.


McMahon and Fawcett are far bigger to me personally. I don’t really know the Michael Jackson that died yesterday. Only those involved will know the truth about the child molesting allegations. I have my serious doubts, I tend to see it as gold digging.
He was more of a characature than the person we watched grow up. He was clearly embarrassed of his race when he should have been proud. That is shameful.


Rather than being cremated, Jacko is being melted down and turned into lego. That way the kids can play with him for a change.


Not for me, it was a Farrah poster I had on my wall as a teen. What a woman!


Don’t forget Dudley Moore’s death being overshadowed by the death of Milton Berle.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

I saw Michael as a great person,thoroughly gifted and having the oppurtunities to show his gifts.Music changed greatly,due to his influence.As for the allegations….God alone knows.But if he ever did those things and forsook them,who are we to judge.Some of us have terrible skeletons we want noone to know about.Try living your entire life in front of the whole world!May his soul rest in peace,God’s peace.And may it be well with his children and family.

Posted by ekanem | Report as abusive

Farrah’s death was expected, especially for anyone who watched her documentary. The media’s reaction to Mike’s death follows the fans’ reaction. News of his illness and death slowed the internet to a crawl yesterday. MJ’s fans span from old people who listened to him as a child to many young people who are still learning of him today. So many of my friends are telling me that their kids, aged 5-10 are devastated at the loss of MJ and his fan base is worldwide. It’s just different. At least one person was lucky yesterday – SC Gov. Sanford.

Posted by tina | Report as abusive

i suspect that, since there’s more celebrities than ever right now, it’s going to seem like a lot are passing on around the same time; RIP in any case


I grew up a big fan of Michael Jackson and was also a fan of Farrah. I think it is sad they both died. She was a beautiful actress and he was a great singer. I feel like more of my childhood is gone now. I hope they have happiness wherever they may be.

Posted by sacha | Report as abusive

Your are embrassment to the human race as a whole. How can you say someone is an embrassment to a race? Yeah, I may not agree on how Michael lived his life but he is still a human being. Every one needs to stop always looking at the bad in people and find something (anything) that is good. Maybe if Michael had those kind of people around him, it may have inspired him to change his life. Have you ever thought of that!!!!!!

Posted by Shonda | Report as abusive

I show all his conserts in London over the years,and would take too long to write the praise he deserves but what conserns me in all this,with all his fans crying is, has everyone forgotten who will miss him most.
A doting father to the children who loved him.
To all his millions of fans forget your own wailing and send your heart out to his children

Posted by frances treagus | Report as abusive

I was noticing myself that Farrah Fawcett only received a few hours of attention before everything went over to Michael Jackson. Both celebrities were very important to America (and World). Farrah who was a 70′s icon, and almost everybody knows Charlie’s Angeles (even if it was the film with Cameron Diaz) and of course, Michael Jackson for being the pop Icon.

I came across a website that lets you say your ‘goodbye’ to both Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, AND even Ed McMahon (who was also overshadowed and played a huge part as an American TV celebrity). You can share your stories, etc.

Rest in peace, all three of you – Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon!

Posted by LAChic | Report as abusive

I am sad today not only because of the death of Michael Jackson but also for the passing of Farrah Fawcett. In the passing of Farrah Fawcett, the public had time to get used to the impending event whereas with Michael Jackson, it was sudden and without warning. I grew up with both of them as part of the cultural landscape but, I must say, that Michael Jackson changed the world with his music and leaves the world a legacy of his enormous talent. Yes, he was eccentric and had his problems, but you still cannot deny his musical genius or the respect the man is due because he was and IS an American icon.

Thank you.

Posted by Quwana | Report as abusive

For all his short falls, MJ was probably the most talented entertainer/ singer ever. And a great dancer as well. He will be missed.

Posted by Dawn | Report as abusive

You forgot that Gianni Versace also died (was killed) the month before Dianna. Gianni in July, Dianna in August and Mother Teresa and Georg Solti in September.

Posted by Susan | Report as abusive

Sky Saxon of the Seeds also died the same day as FF, MJ and Ed. “Pushin too Hard” and “I can’t seem to make you mine” were great garage rock numbers

Posted by Fiona Ortiz | Report as abusive

to the family of farrah,
our families heart is so broken from the loss of such a beautiful person.
ryan and redmond, you don’t know us, but be asure that our hearts are with you now and for always.

love forever.
julia and lorna ferguson
mother and daughter


I think Farrah was so brave in dealing with her disease. My father was very brave too fighting bone cancer which had started in the lungs everyone always thought he would live forever but he fought as bravely as Farrah but no one went through it other than my father more gracefully than Farrah Fawcett. My heart goes out to Ryan O’Neil and Redmond it will take a long time for the wound to heal.


it was a very sad day…losing 2 icons. Another death overshadowed was Groucho Marx who died 3 days after Elvis.


it’s really shocking to hear the death of MJ :(


RIP Farrah. You’ll be missed, and I sure, appreciated for the icon you became. Gone too soon.


it is a shame

Posted by mickey | Report as abusive

to farrahs loved ones, she may now be with her maker ryan and redmond, keep loving and laughing, remember how brave she was. when you look into the night sky and see that beautiful star or step out into the warmth of the sun embrace it cause shes there with you. sorry for your lose. god be with you both. love and god bless kate

Posted by kate osullivan | Report as abusive

actually, farrah tv specials got higher rating than michael. so that tells you farrah still got it. rest in peace beautiful angel.

Posted by joe | Report as abusive

Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett were both icons in their own right. Both popular. Both extraordinary. Both had long careers spanding over thirty years. My point, they were both loved around the world nationally and internationally. However, Michael Jackson is more controversial and unfortunately drama, scandal and unusual lifestlye draws more attention.


Fawcett was the biggest star in the world for anybody who was a child of the 1970s. She was phenomenal, her image was everywhere. People who weren’t around then don’t realize how dull and dreary and sparse the media was then compared to now. There was absolutely nobody on television who was as fresh and natural yet exquisitely perfect and feminine as Farrah Fawcett-Majors. She had a soft coo of a voice and a smile that could take your breath away. Then there was the, uh, bralessness. But she was also probably the best face of feminism in the ERA decade where the stereotype of strong woman was drab unionized workers, aging suffragette types, or lesbians. I mean no offense whatsoever, but that was sadly the limiting popular perception of strong women and flirty Fawcett, crackling Kate Jackson and cool Jaclyn Smith showed you could be strong and self-determined and the equal of any man while epitomizing, redefining glamour and sexiness. As perfect and high-maintenance as it sometimes looked, her hair was soft and it moved and bounced. In an age before the physical enhancements that are commonplace now, Fawcett set an impossible standard for women to achieve or men to attain, yet she did it in an inspiringly wholesome, fresh, athletic, healthy way and the camaraderie and humor between the three gave them an approachability even if they otherwise seemed ethereal. Nobody since has captivated me with the magic of “Charlie’s Angels”, particularly the original three, and—head and shoulders above the rest—Farrah Fawcett.

Posted by J T | Report as abusive

River Phoenix and Fellini both died on Halloween 1993. As huge as Fellini was he died at a good old age and to this day I am still shocked that River Phoenix’s life was cut short. In the US I don’t remember anybody really talking about Fellini’s death at all, because everybody was devastated about River Phoenix.

Posted by bb | Report as abusive

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