Friday, June 26, 2009


Yesterday, after hearing Farrah Fawcett died, we were sitting around our cubicle pod at work talking about her -- mainly how I'd never owned one of her posters when I was a kid. They seemed to think this odd. Hey, everybody didn't own her poster, you know. Besides, out of the 3 Angels I was more partial to Kate Jackson ("The Smart One").

"Ed McMahon and now Farrah," somebody eventually said. "I wonder who the third one will be. Celebrities always die in threes, you know." We all nodded portentously.

A few hours later, out of a clear blue sky, Michael Jackson was gone. Very mysterious. I'm not the only one to notice this either: even the Wall Street Journal brought it up on their Speakeasy blog.

That there was something peculiar about celebrity deaths first struck me when I was a kid. George Sanders (a famous actor that I mainly knew at the time from his compelling portrayal of Mr. Freeze on the Batman TV show), Hoss Cartright from Bonanza (aka Dan Blocker), and J. Edgar Hoover all died between April 25th and May 13th, 1972.

Then, later that year, Charles Atlas (who advertized in the backs of all the comic books at that time, offering to turn 97-pound weaklings into powerful he-men), Harry Truman and the great Roberto Clemente departed for the next life between December 24th and 31st.

Hmmmm... I thought.

Finally, as if to make sure I got the point, LBJ (the President through the bulk of my childhood), Edward G. Robinson, and Wally Cox (the voice of Underdog! Also Mr. Peepers.) checked out between January 22 and February 15, 1973.

Since then, whenever a celebrity passes on (and admitedly, my criteria for a "celebrity" is a.) I know who they are, and b.) I think they're famous) I look for the other 2 -- and most of the time I'll find them, usually falling within about 2 weeks of each other. It can be a bit problematic when 4 people seem to be dying together, as in January 2008 when Edmund Hillary (conquored Mt. Everest), Bobby Fischer (greatest chess player of all time), Suzanne Pleshette (cool actress), and Heath Ledger left us. But to be honest, Heath Ledger never appeared on my radar screen until he died, so that was still 3.

Spoil sport skeptics, like this guy, want this all to be just an illusion, of course. And I'm aware that, with tons of people dying everyday and the human mind's natural tendency to look for patterns, you're going to get groups of 3 famous people heading for the great beyond together every so often.

But still... it does seem to happen rather often.

1 comment:

jacob said...

Sorry about Farrah.

I thought you might be interested in learning about OUR Jewish traditions, one which has embraced the real Christ of the gospel, the Law and the prophets.

If this doesn't interest you, I apologize in advance.

If you are interested let me tell you that we are the Frankist Association of America. One of our members has a new book out:

I am not that I am trying to sell you something. If you can't afford the book you can see the website of one of our teachers -

I just wanted to let you and the scholarly world that there have always been more than one type of Judaism in the world at any one time. Some forms of the faith had to learn to hide their beliefs in order to survive and perpetuate themselves.

Shalom, God Bless
Everything is perfect with God

Beth El Jacob Frank