It is always been said that celebrities always die 3 at a time. And I am sure if you look back in time there has been many instances of famous celebrities who have died days apart from each other. But from June 23, 2009 to June 25, 2009, three goliaths of entertainers were lost, 2 just hours from each other.
The first being Ed McMahon on 6/23/09, the long time side kick of Johnny Carson who died according to his publicist attributing his death to the many health problems he had suffered over his final months. He died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA at the age of 86.
McMahon was also the host of the show Star Search, which began in 1983 and helped launch the careers of numerous actors, singers, choreographers, and comedians. He stayed with the show until it ended in 1995, and in 2003, he made a cameo appearance on the revival of the CBS show, hosted by his successor, Arsenio Hall.
McMahon was also the long-running co-host of the annual Labor Day weekend Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. His 41st and last appearance was in 2008, making him second only to Lewis himself in total appearances.
Then on the morning of June, 25, 2009 the world lost model-actress Farrah Fawcett who at the age of 62 lost her long battle to anal cancer. She died in the intensive care unit of Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, with long time boyfriend Ryan O’Neal at her side when she died.
Farrah’s early career included TV commercials for consumer products, from Noxzema shaving cream, to Ultra Brite toothpaste, to Wella Balsam shampoo, and in 1975 Mercury Cougar.
Fawcett’s first TV series appearance was a guest spot on I Dream of Jeannie 1968–1969 season , followed by guest appearances in Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, and the Dating Game and several episodes of Harry O. She would also appear in the show Six Million Dollar Man with Lee Majors, which she was married to from 1973-1982.
Farrah starred in the hit TV show Charlie’s Angel’s and later posed for play boy magazine. At one time the poster of her in a bathing suit was probably on the wall of almost every teenage boy in America.
Farrah left the show Charlie’s Angel’s after one season to pursue a career in movies, but was not to successful. Her best known role was in the movie the burning Bed, which was the first of her 3 Emmy nominations. She also made many appearances in a variety of shows in her career.
Her long battle with cancer and her upbeat attitude to beat it was inspirational to many as they saw how she suffered. Towards the end of her life the two-hour documentary Farrah’s Story which was filmed by Fawcett and friend Alana Stewart, aired on NBC May 15, 2009. The documentary was watched by nearly 9 million people in its premiere airing.
Everyone knew that Farrah was sick and on her death bed, and was expecting the news of her death. When her death was finally announced, no one was surprised and many networks were preparing to air tributes of her life and career.
As sad as her passing was for many, it was even sadder that her death was put on the back page of all the evening news reports due to the unexpected death of music icon, Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson was the 7th child of the Jackson family, the most famous and most successful musical family of all time. He began his career as a member of the Jackson 5 and later as a solo artist, became known as the king of pop.
Michael’s album Thriller was released on November 30, 1982 by Epic Records. After the release of the album’s first single”The girl is mine” some music observers thought Thriller would only be a minor hit record. With the release of the second single “Billie Jean”, the album topped the charts in many countries. At its peak, the album was selling over a million copies a week worldwide. In just over a year, Thriller became—and currently remains—the best-selling album of all time.
Seven of the album’s nine songs were released as singles, and all reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album would go on to win a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards, including awards in three different genres—pop, R&B and rock. The album was one of the first to use music videos. The videos for “Thriller”, “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” all were played often on MTV.
On March 25, 1983, he performed live on the Motown 25: Yesterday Today, Forever television special, both with The Jackson 5 and on his own singing “Billie Jean”. Debuting his signature dance move the moonwalk.
Jackson suffered a serious injury on January 27, 1984, while filming a Pepsi Cola commercial at the Shine Auditorium in Los Angeles; he suffered second degree burns to his scalp after pyrotechnics accidentally set his hair on fire. PepsiCo settled a lawsuit out of court, and Jackson gave his $1.5 million settlement to the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, California, where he had been treated.
Jackson would go on to co-write the charity single “We Are the World” with Lionel Richie, which was released worldwide to aid the poor in Africa and the US. He was one of 39 music celebrities who performed on the record. The single became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with nearly 20 million copies sold and millions of dollars donated to famine relief
In the following years Jackson demonstrated what many thought as wield behavior from the king of pop such as in a 1986, a tabloid ran a story claiming that Jackson slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to slow his aging process; he was pictured lying down in a glass box.
Jackson then bought and befriended a pet chimpanzee called Bubbles, which extended his eccentric persona. In 2003, Jackson claimed that Bubbles shared his toilet and cleaned his bedroom. Later, it was reported that Jackson bought the bones of The Elephant Man. It is these stories that inspired the nickname Wacko Jacko.
Jackson’s skin was a medium-brown color for the entire duration of his youth, but starting in the early 1980s, his skin gradually grew paler. This change gained heavy media coverage, including rumors that Jackson was bleaching his skin. In the mid-1980s, Jackson reported that he was diagnosed with vitiligo and lupus and both illnesses made him sensitive to sunlight.
The press also made note that the structure of his face had changed as well over the years; several surgeons have speculated that Jackson had undergone multiple nasal surgeries, a forehead lift, thinned lips and a cheekbone surgery.
In 1993, Jackson would perform during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXVII. It was the first Super Bowl where the audience figures increased during the half-time show, and was viewed by over 135 million Americans alone; Jackson’s Dangerous album then raised 90 places up the album charts.
Jackson gave a 90-minute interview with Oprah Winfrey in February 1993. He told her of his childhood abuse at the hands of his father. He told her that he believed that he had missed out on much of his childhood years, and admitted that he often cried from loneliness.
Also in 1993 Jackson was accused of child sexual abuse by a 13 year old boy who stayed at the Never land Ranch. On January 1, 1994, Jackson settled the case with an out of court, in a civil lawsuit for $22 million. Jackson was never charged, and the state closed its criminal investigation, citing lack of evidence.
Due to the stress of the sexual accusations Jackson began taking painkillers Valium, Xanax and Ativan, to deal with the stress of the allegations made against him. By the fall of 1993, Jackson was addicted to the drugs. His health deteriorated to the extent that he canceled the remainder of the Dangerous World Tour and went into drug rehabilitation for a few months.
In May 1994, Jackson married singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley. They had first met in 1975. However they divorced less than two years later, remaining friends.
Jackson would later marry again this time he married dermatologist nurse Deborah Jeanne Rowe, who bore him two children using donated sperm: a son, Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. (also known as “Prince”), and a daughter, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. The couple divorced in 1999, with Rowe giving full custody rights of the children to Jackson.
Jackson’s third child, Prince Michael Jackson II (also known as Blanket) was born in 2002. The mother’s identity was never released by Jackson, but he said the child was the result of artificial insemination.
Jackson would face more charges of sexual abuse and went to trial to fight the charges. The trial lasted five months, until the end of May 2005, when he was acquitted on all counts. Due the bad press from the trial and rumors of his financial problems, Jackson then relocated to the Persian Gulf island of Bahrain. Continued reports of financial problems for Jackson became more frequent in 2006 after the closure of the main house on his Never land Ranch.
Jackson was scheduled to perform 50 sold out concerts to over one million people, at London’s O2 arena, from July, 13, 2009, to March, 6, 2010. During a publicity press conference, he had made suggestions of possible retirement. Randy Phillips, president and chief executive of AEG Live, had stated that the first 10 dates alone would have earned the singer approximately £50 million. Phillips said that the promotion company had a three-and-a-half year plan to work with Jackson, including a possible world tour, the release of new music and a 3D film based on Jackson’s groundbreaking album, song and music video,Thriller.