As well you should know, Matt and Steve are not
participating in the O.B.E Celebrity Death Watch. However, we thought it
might be fun to track our progress along with yours. We did quite a bit of
homework and came up with a "short list" of celebrities we would consider
listing for the Death Watch. Our list had approximately 400 persons. We narrowed
it down to about 35 for our four 1998 entries into another Celebrity Death
Pool. We have further narrowed the list down to 20 in order to post our 1998
O.B.E. Celebrity Death Picks. Read 'em and weep kids:
1. FRANK SINATRA- Song man extraordinaire, actor supreme and all around cool dude. Sadly, he is aged and reportedly ailing. Mr. Sinatra is the name sake of the O.B.E. Celebrity Death Watch. He was our first and easiest pick. (Died 5/14/98)
2. MARIE LOUISE FEBRONIE MEILLEUR- Very old woman. Ms. Meilleur was born in 1880, making her 118 years old in 1998. Matt and I aren't brilliant, but simple probability told us that she's a must list. (Died 4/16/98)
3. MARJORY-STONEMAN DOUGLAS- Environmentalist and author. Ms. Douglas was born in 1890, making her a darn good pick for Death Watch endeavors. Of course, she's no Marie Louise. But, what the hell! (Died 5/14/98)
4. MADAME CHAING KAI-SHEK- Wife of dead Taiwanese president (and China's only elected president). Ms. Kai-Shek, also known as Mei-ling Soong, was born in 1897. Again, the age factor makes it pretty evident why she's on the list.
5. BARBARA CARTLAND- Author of countless romance novels. Ms. Cartland popped into existence in 1901. This makes her 97 years old this year. Although a veritable youngster when compared to Marie Louise (who was 21 when Barbara was born), she is still a reasonable pick.
6. STROM THURMOND- Very right -wing senator from South Carolina. Mr. Thurmond was born in 1902, one year after Barbara Cartland. He was first elected to the senate in 1954 after being Governor of South Carolina and running for President of the United States of America. He is old and ornery, that's why he's here.
7. LENI RIEFENSTAHL- Documentary director for Hitler. Ms. Riefenstahl was born in 1902. Not only is she old, she made a movie about a nasty ass guy. We've gotten quite a few comments about Ms. Riefenstahl. First, we listed her as a man. We corrected this and then, through poor management of HTML files, we relisted her as a man accidently. Sorry Leni. Most recenlty, we've been told that she wasn't such a bad gal and she should not be damned to the fiery pits o' hell. In spite of all this, we still think she is gonna buy the farm.
8. AL HIRSCHFELD- Cartoonist. Mr. Hirschfeld, born in 1903, is famous for drawing caricatures of other famous folks. Al always signs his cartoons with his name and a number. The number indicates how many times he has hidden his daughter's name "Nina" within the cartoon. 1903 is a long time ago folks. Hirschfeld 95.
9. BOB HOPE- Comedian, actor, singer, golfer, and patriot. Mr. Hope was born in 1903. He has had a long and brilliant career. He spent a good deal of his career in the pictures and a good deal with the troops. As of late, he hasn't been looking too well. Then again, at 95, neither will we.
10. Dr. BENJAMIN SPOCK- Physician and authority on raising infants (not to be confused with Mr. Spock- Alien and friend of Captain Kirk). Dr. Spock was born in 1903 too. His books have helped countless new moms do what one would think is instinctual, raise their kids. He was an olympic rower by the way. Despite persistent rumors to the contrary, he has never performed a mind meld or a Vulcan death grip. He is, however, pretty old. (Died 3/16/98)
11. Sir JOHN GIELGUD- Actor and knight. Sir John was born in 1904. He is well known for performing Shakespeare and for lugging around a drunken Dudley Moore in a picture called "Arthur". Which do you know him for, eh? At 94 years of age we think Sir John may be Sir gone.
12. DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS Jr.- Actor. Mr. Fairbanks was born in 1909. He starred in such classics as "The Prisoner of Zenda" and "Gunga Din". His first movie credit is from 1923 as Stephen Harlow in the picture "Stephen Steps Out." Steve, of the O.B.E., prefers his work in the film "Ghost Story" though. In that picture, a ghost takes her revenge on Douglas and his pals. Here is a line the ghost says to many of the characters including Douglas', "I will take you places you've never been. I will show you things that you have never seen and I will see the life run out of you." Hmmmmm.
13. HUME CRONYN- Actor. Mr. Cronyn was born in 1911. Hume has had his highs and lows. He was in "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (the original) and "Cleopatra." He also put in a great performance in "The World According To Garp." However, we can not forget that he also did "*Batteries Not Included." He is the widower of Jessica Tandy. You may remember her from "Driving Miss Daisy". Now, of course, she is pushing up daisies. Can Hume be far behind?
14. POPE JOHN PAUL II- Pope. We don't know when this fella was born, but man he looks old and unwell. We both think he'll go from kissing the ground to looking up at it mighty soon.
15. HENNY YOUNGMAN- Comedian. Mr. Youngman is not exactly what his name implies. He was born in 1906. That makes him a whopping 92 years old this year. Henny's done tons of roasts, tons of talk shows, and tons of Friar's lunches. What's left? (Died 2/25/98)
16. THE QUEEN MOTHER- Exactly what the name implies. She is darn old. Hell, her daughter is darn old. She outlived Princess Di. Right is right, her time is up.
17. MEINHARDT RAABE- Actor. Mr. Raabe was born in 1915. He was recently injured in a car accident which claimed the life of his wife. Meinhardt is best known for playing the munchkin Coroner in "The Wizard of Oz." At 83, he ain't in Kansas anymore, if you get our drift.
18. ALLEN FUNT- Candid Camera host. Mr. Funt was born in 1914. Rumor has it that Allen isn't doing too well. As the theme song says, "when you least expect it...."
19. BUDDY EBSEN- Actor. Mr. Ebsen was born in 1908. He has starred in various films and television shows. Most noteworthy (in our minds at least) is his stellar work as Jed Clampet on the "Beverly Hillbillies and as George Russell in the "Davy Crockett" pictures. Of, course, Buddy also starred in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Barnaby Jones". Buddy was originally cast to be the Scarecrow in "The Wizard of OZ." However, he traded roles with Ray Bolger and ended up cast as the Tin Man. Unfortunately, Buddy was allergic to the Tin Man make-up and had to hand the role over to Jack Haley Sr. Buddy is old and has allergies, need we say more.
GOLDWATER- Politician. Mr. Goldwater was
born on New Years Day in 1909. He was a presidential candidate in 1964 and
served in the United States Senate until 1987. Barry is no spring chicken
and he believes in UFOs. That, my friends, is quite a combination! (Died