Tuesday, January 22, 2008

too soon

Some audience members at the Einstein Simplified show tonight wanted us to joke about Heath Ledger's sad death. Fortunately we ignored their suggestions.

I heard the news about Heath from my daughter, who knew I would want to know as soon as she saw the breaking news on CNN and Fox News this afternoon. When she called, I was watching our local stations, which were reporting only on the winter weather.

By odd coincidence, my friend Bean posted a blog entry early this morning about the rash of celebrity deaths so far in 2008. My friend Lisa Burks has an entire blog about (mostly celebrity) deaths.

When I turned on my cell phone this morning, I had a voice mail from Terry Morrow. He said he wanted to ask me something about Brad Renfro. Terry wasn't there when I called back so I don't know for sure that he wanted to try and talk me into going to Brad's funeral, which was yesterday or his burial, which was today. But that's what I suspect.

The Associated Press made news with their decision to prepare an advance obituary for Britney Spears. The concept of updating the obit files was even the plot of a "Mary Tyler Moore Show" episode. Yet, the most recent deaths of the young and famous caught the wire services unprepared. Some writers feel they should only keep obituary files on older, more accomplished stars. With instant news on the Internet, readers now expect to see complete obituaries as soon as a celebrity dies. The news services will have a hard time keeping pace with Wikipedia.

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Anonymous Frank Murphy said...

They took Heath to the same funeral home that handled my cousin Terry's arrangements in 2001. As I watch Access Hollywood and read about Heath in the New York Times, I can't help but think of the time I went to the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel for my cousin's wake.


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