Death By Hollywood

There has been a rash of celebrity deaths lately – Art Linkletter, Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper, and Rue McClanahan (second to last survivor of the Golden Girls) to name a few.  As with many celebrities, circumstances surrounding some of these deaths have been quite out of the ordinary.

Dennis Hopper was in the midst of a frantic and nasty divorce when he lost his battle to cancer.  His wife is currently battling for her share of the estate – seems the pre-nup stipulated that the couple be married AND living together at the time of his death.  She contends that living in the guest house on the same property IS living together…

I listened to  the 911 call from Gary Coleman’s wife, and it’s creepy to say the least.  I’ve never heard a person so cold – “”send someone quick because I don’t know if he’s going to, like, be alive.”  And that she can’t help him because she “doesn’t want to be traumatized right now…” and “I’ve got blood on myself, I’m gagging, I can’t deal.”  Me, me, me.   So WOW.  Does Shannon (aka Mrs. Coleman – well, not really…  as it turns out,  there was a secret divorce back  in ’08) have something to hide?  My guess is that she is digging herself a deeper hole with every press conference, er, day that goes by…  It’s especially interesting how she is quick to do press conferences, shooting a video for tmz.com just one day after her husband’s er, roommate’s death.  You can listen to Shannon’s refusal to help Gary here in the sad 911 call, and here is a link to the video shot a day later when she contradicts herself – in the 911 call, she says she can’t help Gary because she has seizures so she can’t drive, whereas in the video, she says that Gary has done nice things for her, like buy her a car.  So…  why would he buy her a car if she can’t drive?  Oh, and not a tear has fallen from Shannon’s eyes publicly since Gary’s death.  Something’s fishy here, and Ms. Price’s penchant for being in the spotlight is going to be the catalyst to her unraveling, it seems.

Last night was the first night I was able to spend at home in a long time.  I was excited to see that the Cubs had a night game, and I was looking forward to getting to sit and watch my first entire baseball game since opening day…  but I had read the schedule wrong – actually I’ve been a day off all week.  My husband being off work on Memorial Day got me a day behind, and then somehow I overcompensated and got a day ahead in the later part of the week.  Just the latest on a lengthening list of stupid things I’ve done lately – where is my brain?  So anyway, baseball-gameless, I decided to watch some “junk tv” – whatever I could find in useless reality shows or documentaries.  I was looking for “Fantastic Houseboats”, but I couldn’t find the Travel Channel (have I mentioned that I never watch tv?  I don’t even know what our channels are!  Well, I know Noggin, PBS, and Nickleodeon by heart, but nothing other than kids’ channels…), so I ended up watching something called “Jail” that was really a Cops knock-off and then an interesting show on E! –  20 Most Horrifying Hollywood Murders.  Ah, celebrity gossip meets true crime = perfect junk tv!  It was quite interesting; though I had already known about most of the cases which included:  Nicole Brown Simpson, Bonnie Lee Bakley, Rebecca Shaeffer (an 80s tv star that was murdered by a stalker, how sad), Dominique Dunne, Bob Crane, Sharon Tate, Black Dahlia, Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, and Jose and Kitty Menendez.  I did miss a little bit of the show, but I kept waiting for the Phil Hartman case to come on – I thought that would be considered ‘horrifying’ as he was unexpectedly murdered by his cocaine-addicted wife Brynn who then committed suicide.  Perhaps it was one of the 20 on the show and I just missed it?  And the show also spotlighted something I’d like to try if I ever find myself in Hollywood again: the Dearly Departed Tours.  The name speaks for itself.  I have a macabre sense of curiosity that way, which is also why I’d like time someday to delve into Steven Bocho’s (famous producer who gave us NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, and Doogie Howser, MD) first attempt at a novel  – where I got the title of this post.  Found Death By Hollywood at the Dollar Store and it looked worth a buck to sit on my shelf for years until I had the time to read it.

So anyway, lots of death in Hollywood lately, and it’s sad.  Even for those of us with somewhat morbid curiosities; there were still people behind the celebrity facades, and their loved ones left behind are hurting.  No matter to what degree of fame they rose, they were all human beings, so how could their deaths be anything but sad?

4 thoughts on “Death By Hollywood”

  1. Dennis Hopper will forever be remembered for his great movies. It’s truly sad and a great loss. Not just for the movie industry but in general as he was a man of integrity. His most rememorable movie for me is Blue velvet.

    Regards,
    Jennifer
    smilys

  2. I also heard the 9-1-1 call from Mr. Coleman’s “friend”. So fearful of blood she had to make the call from another room? Apparently, there had been abuse on both sides. So tragic and I’m sure this isn’t the last we will hear of the infamous call, sadly.

    And don’t forget Cop Rock… was that not a Bochco production… such as it was?

  3. Why oh why do they release these 911 calls to the public?? Anyway, I expect we will hear more about his ex-wife (not widow I guess). I can’t really speak about any of the other deaths like Hopper- I really hadn’t heard his name until the news about his death nor the former Golden Girl. Art Linkletter I have heard of of course, but even so I don’t think I ever saw him in anything as he was a bit before my time.

    1. When referring to Dennis Hopper, they keep referring to Easy Rider, but I knew him from Speed – he made an excellent villain in Speed. I might have to give Easy Rider a try, depending on what I read about it on imdb.com. I watched Golden Girls every Saturday night when it was on in the 80s, then again on Lifetime a few years ago, so I knew right away who Rue McClanahan was. And I remember Art Linkletter from his appearances on Bill Cosby’s version of Kids Say The Darndest Things. Art originated the show, but that was before my time. I did not know about his daughter who committed suicide in the 60s – he blamed it on LSD although none was found in her system, but that’s interesting… wonder how long something like that stays in one’s system? It probably could have messed with her brain enough to cause that. Sad.
      And I watched Diff’rent Strokes too… but I watched it more when it was in syndication. I remember being all excited that we were supposed to meet Gary Coleman on a train since my dad worked for Chicago Northwestern (a railroad company) and we lived in Zion where Gary was from. But we were disappointed that Gary had to cancel because of a kidney transplant. Must have been 1983 when he got his first transplant. My parents have the pictures of the train, but no Gary, of course. It’s just sad that he died broke and lonely since he had been estranged from his parents as well.

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