Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and the History of Multiple Celebrity Deaths

To be a celebrity means that your every move will be watched and documented.  Whether it be praise or criticism, there isn’t much that goes unnoticed.  So, how ironic that when some of these celebrities left this world, their deaths were trumped by a bigger or better celebrity death.michael-farrah

These four died within the same week, Michael and Farrah on the same day.  On any other day, Farrah would have gotten some serious recognition, but MJ was the clear winner here.  Ed and Billy got some small print recognition.

June 25, 2009
Michael Jackson-King of Pop
Farrah Fawcett-Charlie’s Angel

June 24, 2009
Ed McMahon-Carson’s sidekick and deliverer of large checks

June 29, 2009
Billy Mays-King of Infomercials and robust beards. Most importantly, he died on notice.

Going back in time-same day deaths:

Jim Henson-Muppet Maker and Sammy Davis, Jr.-singer, dancer, Rat Pack member both died on May 16, 1990.  Winner: Henson, as it seems he got more press.  Close call though.

Groucho Marx-comedian/Marx brother died on August 16th, 1977and Elvis Presley-King of Rock & Roll died on August 19, 1977.  Winner-blue suede shoe wearer, Elvis.  Fair to say that when news broke of Elvis’ death, Groucho’s publicity went the way of Farrah’s. Although Elvis maybe be alive as he has shared his thoughts with us on the 2008 Presidential Election and the economy.

Aldous Huxley-author of classic American novel “Brave New World” and C. S. Lewis-Wrote “Chronicles of Narnia” series both died on 22 November 1963. And of course both were overshadowed by the death on that day of John F. Kennedy-President.  Winner-JFK…the poor guy was assassinated after all and that death is the original “I remember where I was when I found out —— died?”

Buddy Holly-singer/songwriter and one of the first inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Ritchie Valens-singer/songwriter, first Latino rock and roller and The Big Bopper-DJ/singer/songwriter all died together in a plane crash on February 3, 1959 (known as the day the music died).  No winners here.

Orville Wright-airplane inventor and Gandhi-India’s spiritual leader both passed on January 30, 1948.  Winner-Gandhi for his do-gooder ways.  Although, without Orville Wright, I would not be flying Jet Blue with a TV at my seat, eating those adorable blue chips.  Another tough call. Still, I think a nation of a billion would agree its Gandhi.

John Adams-2nd president of these United States and Thomas Jefferson-third president both died on July 4, 1826. Possible Bonus for July 4 being the day, being that they both signed the Declaration of Independence.  Winner-Jefferson.  He is responsible for bringing french fries to the U.S.  Nuff said.

Not on the same day but pretty close:

Robert Mitchum-movie actor, died on July 1, 1997 and Jimmy Stewart-actor, perhaps best known for role in “It’s A Wonderful Life” passed the following day.  Winner-Stewart.  He was named the third Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute.  Mitchum was not named #1 or #2.

Ronald Reagan-American president died on June 5, 2004 and Ray Charles-visually impaired musician died five days later, on the day of Reagan’s funeral.  Winner-Ray Charles… his music will live forever, plus they had the movie and whatnot.

Of note, Princess Diana-Princess of Whales was tragically killed in a car accident on August 31, 1997 and Mother Teresa-nun, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize died on September 5, 1997.  Heaven got a couple of great lady humanitarians that week but Diana definitely got more coverage.

Johnny Cash-singer/songwriter passed on September 10, 2003.  John Ritter-comedic actor, best known as Jack Tripper of “Three’s Company” died unexpectedly on September 11, 2003.  The world lost two John’s in two days-no winners here.

submitted by Lauren

Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal Anti-Gravity Lean

Now that Michael Jackson has passed away, we can unlock one of his countless secrets… the Anti-Gravity Lean in the Smooth Criminal video. So, how’d he do it? The answer is more complicated than you’d think.

The effect in the video when Michael Jackson and the backup dancers lean forward was created by special harnesses with wires and magnets. Michael wanted to be able to recreate the dance move/effect in the live show, but the wires and magnets would be too much on stage. Michael and his choreography people created and patented a new innovative way to recreate the effect onstage in 1993.

The mechanism consists of pegs that rise from the stage at the appropriate moment, and special shoes with ankle supports and cutouts in the heels which can slide over the pegs and be thereby attached to the stage temporarily. These allow the dancers to lean without needing to keep their centers of gravity directly over their feet. Check out the video below…specifically the dancer getting caught in the pegs and almost busting his ass.
The patent expires in 2012 – so get ready for thousands of imitators – probably not – well, it was still cool at the time.