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Jeruba's avatar

Which celebrity deaths have really affected you?

Asked by Jeruba (41917 points ) November 17th, 2008

Presidential assassinations aside, every celebrity death has a big impact on some folks and doesn’t touch others. To some it represents “the end of an era,” and others will say, “Who was he, anyway?” or, “I didn’t even know she was still alive.”

Of the nationally or internationally known figures whose deaths have occurred in your lifetime, which ones have had a strong effect on you, made you feel a personal sense of loss, brought you to tears, caused you to attend memorials or send checks in tribute or purchase commemorative objects or set up little altars in your home or whatever? Which ones have you really felt personally?

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36 Answers

googlybear's avatar

Two for me Pope John Paul II (if you count him as a celebrity) because he had a strong impact on a lot of people and a large amount of faith which I admire even though I’m not a Catholic)...and Paul Newmann because he was a great philanthropist and a great actor….

EmpressPixie's avatar

I don’t know if this counts, but Obama’s grandmother’s death really hit me. It was so mindbendingly unfair in just a cosmic sense. It actually hit me harder than my own grandmother’s death.

That sounds awful, but my grandmother had been dying for quite some time, so I was prepared for it when she passed away. This, however, showed that the world is a cruel, hard place and was one of those moments where you wonder how much the world sucks.

shilolo's avatar

None. Celebrities are, after all, just human beings, and I don’t mourn people that I don’t know.

dynamicduo's avatar

Heath Ledger did for me because it was so sudden and non deserving.

jca's avatar

for me it was princess diana. the reason is when i was a young girl, diana was big in the news, what she was wearing, her marriage to charles, then it was always what she was up to now, always her clothes and jewels. when she died, i felt like i had seen her grow up just about and it was amazing to see all the people in the UK who came out to mourn her. now she’s like frozen in time, always young. i didn’t cry or anything, it was just like a shock.

aidje's avatar

Michael Crichton came as kind of a shock to me, but I didn’t go into mourning like I would with someone I actually know. It was a shock simply because he had kept his cancer private.

tinyfaery's avatar

River Phoenix. He was the reason I became a vegetarian and an animal rights supporter. I was so disappointed and saddened when he died, especially because he death seemed such an antithesis to his life.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

John Lennon, Gilda Radner, Frank Zappa, and author Isaac Asimov most of all. I never met any of them in person, but their personalities shone through their work in a way that I felt like they were real friends. I miss them dearly.

BoyWonder's avatar

I would say when Tupac Shakur died, that was particularly painful for me because I related to him so much on so many levels. He was thoughtful in his art and his words (not all) were an inspiration to the present disenfranchised generation. His was a movement that could not be stopped, even after his death.

asmonet's avatar

I was surprised when I found out about Bernie Mac and George Carlin, but it didn’t have any impact on me personally. Bernice Mac was the only black comedian I consistently laughed at, most of the others annoyed me after a while. But I just liked his crazy eyes and his delivery. Funny dude.

bythebay's avatar

I would have to say Tim Russert because I felt like I learned so much from him. I could watch him, take it all in, and discern without feeling as though I was pandered to. He also felt like a very real family person as opposed to someone in a glass house. Payne Stewart was another that truly saddened me as I had watched him golf in person many times with my Dad so I had seen him with his wife & kids; and I loved his goofy sense of style. I would also add Luther VanDross because I have so many special memories set to his music!

Jeruba's avatar

I have said, “Oh, that’s too bad” at the end of many great ones. The ones who had a long and terrific life, such as Paul Newman, don’t grieve me too much—they did it right, and all I feel is admiration. I felt a pretty hard wrench at the death of John Lennon, as if part of my own youth had just been torn away.

But when Luciano Pavarotti died, I cried all the way home from work, came home and put on a string of CDs, and sat and listened for 5 hours straight. My husband and son offered me personal condolences.

bythebay's avatar

@Jeruba: I, too, felt a terrible loss whe Pavarotti died. It was as though a very special gift had been wrenched from our hands.

figbash's avatar

I normally don’t get too caught up in celebrity, but I was really affected by the death of Jeff Buckley. I had been a big fan for years, and used to have these elaborate fantasies about marrying him. As a joke, of sorts, I used to carry his picture around in my wallet. He died in some freak drowning accident in 1997, and I remember being shocked and then depressed. It still makes me sad when I think about it.

asmonet's avatar

I forgot about Pavarotti. That was seriously sad. he was such a joyous performer. He always looked like he was in love with the piece. The only singer of his kind that took me away when I wa in my \m/ METALLICA \m/ phase.

AstroChuck's avatar

The loss of James Garner really hit me hard. Also the tragic deaths of the Olsen twins were really sad. They were so young.
Joan Rivers will be sorely missed, as well.

IBERnineD's avatar

Phil Hartman. I cried a lot and the death was so tragic.

flameboi's avatar

Kurt Cobain… and Heath Ledger lately

elchoopanebre's avatar

Definitely Anna Nicole Smith. I cried for many months.

serenityNOW's avatar

Jerry Garcia.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I was really sad to hear about the death of River Phoenix. I liked him in so many of his movies and he was an excellent talent. He had so much potential in him for future projects and I think the filmmaking world lost a very big star when he passed away.

clairedete's avatar

Princess Diana. Although, counting this as a celebrity death seems very wrong because that is what she was fighting so hard not to be.

Allie's avatar

I was pretty sad when I found out Bernie Mac had died. It’s always sad when someone dies, but his affected me more than the others. It’s still sad to think about it.
The skit about his sisters kids is my favorite. Especially he part about their different personalities and when he tells how the little one came downstairs looking for cookies and ran into him. =]

paradesgoby's avatar

When I was a kid, I used to LOVE LOVE LOOOOVEEE that movie Santa Claus from the 80s with Dudley Moore. When Dudley died in 2002, I felt like a little piece of my childhood died too :’(

buster's avatar

Man that time Gilbert Godfrey got stuffed in the wood chipper by those guys from the tree trimming service I was so relieved. Oh wait that was just wishful thinking.

BoyWonder's avatar

the Olsen twins died???? When??

El_Cadejo's avatar

pstttttttt BoyWonder, James Garner, the Olsen twins and, Joan Rivers are all still alive

augustlan's avatar

John Lennon was a biggie. I was in junior high, and everyone – even the teachers – cried. School work was pretty much put aside for the remainder of the day. Princess Diana, such a beautiful soul. Heath Ledger because I’d watched him grow into an amazing talent, and couldn’t wait to see what role he’d take on next. Robert Goulet‘s death made me sad for my family. My mother and a few of her siblings worked in a theater as young adults and got to know him fairly well. I met him a few times, but had no personal tie to him.

asmonet's avatar

@BoyWonder: Yeaaaah…

AstroChuck's avatar

What? The Olsen twins are dead? When did this happen?

rossi_bear's avatar

the Olsen twins didn’t pass away, AstroChuck, they are still around. but all you have mention some great celeberties it is hard to choose just one. but i would have to say george carlin. he was a roit.

AstroChuck's avatar

@rossi- Check out entire thread and you’ll see I was j/k.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Carl Sagan, Kurt Vonnegut, Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Zappa, Arther C. Clarke and Vincent Price. Great minds all of them, and I’d gladly sacrifice five hundred Britney Spears, Paris Hiltons, or Brad Pitts just to have any one of them back.

irocktheworld's avatar

Heath Ledger because i just saw the dark night and then heard that he
died and it was such a shock to me i couldn’t believe it…even now

Zen_Again's avatar

The next one.

Really. I am affected every time someone dies, especially celebrities whom I have “known”. Over sensitive?

GQ Jeruba * sigh *

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