I was surprised that Charles Nelson Reilly was 76 when he died, over the weekend. Not that he was that young, or that old, but that he was still alive.
Some time ago I posted the people that I wasn’t “done with yet,” people who died too young or too soon. There are other people with whom popular culture has gotten done with, who linger on, alive, presumably happy, but invisible and when they die, a million Americans hear the news and think, “Hmmmm, I thought s/he died YEARS ago….”
June Allyson – died July 2006 at the age of 89 – when you watch the movies, everybody around her seems to be dead: Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland, Fredrick March, Steve Allen. She made those embarassing Depends commercials (by golly, there is a foundation named after her) and then, I assumed, she died. But she was apparently fine, if incontinent (I'm not being mean, she started the foundation fer criminy!) for another ten years,
Glenn Ford - died in August 2006 at 90. No talk shows, no books, no angry children, no scandal. No guys like him in the movies anymore, either: silent, square in build and level in look, competent, occasionally witty but it was a strain.
Curt Gowdy - I don't know much about sports, but his voice seems to have ended with the sideburns and fluffy perms sticking out under the hats of the baseball players, and the handlebar mustaches on the football players in the washed-out color films of World Series and Superbowls long ago. Died February 2006 at 87.
Who surprised you when they died? Who do you keep forgetting is still alive?
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