Tag Archives: Death

Death Stats 2017: Celebrities Update #2

Amid a lot of worrisome news this year, here’s some good.

With Glen Campbell’s recent death, we’re adding another name to the list of major celebrities who have died in 2017.

It’s a list that’s nowhere near as long as I expected it to be.

When I wrapped up my year-long project of tracking the large number of celebrity deaths in 2016, I concluded that we were seeing the beginning of an upward trend – that celebrities would continue dying in greater numbers than they had in the recent past.

The root of the theory goes back to the Baby Boomers and the way they clamored for celebrities as they came of age in the 1960s. More celebrities were created by the Boomers than by any previous generation, and we paid more attention to them than we had before technological advances put them in the forefronts of our lives. So now, as those Boomers age, we’re beginning to see the early deaths of the leading outliers from that generation, perhaps a decade ahead of the point when that population boom will see predictably large numbers approaching the U.S. average age of death.

The conclusion was that if you thought 2016 was bad, you needed to hold on to your hat for 2017 and beyond.

But statistical trends don’t always unfold smoothly. So far in 2017, what has actually happened is that we’re seeing a rate of celebrity death that looks more like what was happening in 2010 or 2011, years when celebrity deaths were fewer and we only lost a handful of true icons.

That’s not to say we haven’t lost several beloved major celebrities this year. In addition to Campbell, I tagged (using the same methodology as last year) seven others as major celebrity deaths through mid-August of 2017: Mary Tyler Moore, Joseph Wapner, Chuck Berry, Don Rickles, Chris Cornell, Roger Moore, and Adam West.* A couple dozen more not-quite-major celebrities have died, bringing us to a total so far of 37 celebrity deaths in 2017.

It’s a lot, to be sure, but when you compare it to 2016, it’s noticeably low. By August 10 of 2016, we had seen 57 celebrity deaths, 18 of them major. Twenty-two percent of the 2017-to-date celebrity deaths have been of major celebrities, compared to 32 percent by this date in 2016. Even when compared to the other years I included in my study last year (2010 through 2015), 2017 skews a little low.  

Even better than an absence of bad news is genuine good news, and we’ve had that this year, too. There are quite a few celebrities who fans have worried about in 2017, only to see them rally and improve. Elton John scared us with a bacterial infection in the spring, but he’s doing better. Loretta Lynn is reportedly recovering in rehab after a severe stroke. Britain’s Prince Philip carries on even after two separate newspapers, on two separate dates in 2017, prematurely published obituaries for him.

All this is a welcome reprieve, one less type of bad news in a year that’s been heavy on worrisome headlines.

* In the photo above, the city of Los Angeles paid tribute to Adam West by projecting the Bat-Signal onto City Hall during a large public memorial service.

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Venus Williams faces lawsuit for car death

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Venus Williams had recently been eliminated from the French Open when the crash occurred

Venus Williams faces a wrongful death lawsuit from the family of a man who died in a Florida car crash involving the tennis star, says a lawyer.

The 78-year-old man suffered “massive” fatal injuries from the 9 June collision in Palm Beach Gardens city, an attorney for his widow says.

According to police, Ms Williams was at fault for the traffic accident, which caused the death of Jerome Barson.

The 37-year-old is due to make her 20th appearance at Wimbledon on Monday.

According to the police report, Linda Barson told police she was driving with her husband, Jerome, in the passenger seat of their 2016 Hyundai Accent at the time of the collision.

Mrs Barson told police that as they passed through an intersection on a green light, Ms Williams’ 2010 Toyota Sequoia cut across in front of their car.

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The Barsons had been married for over 30 years

Ms Williams told police she became stuck in the middle of the intersection because of other traffic, according to the report.

“Mrs Barson is suffering intense grief and doesn’t know how she will go on,” her lawyer, Michael Steinger, told ABC television’s Good Morning America.

“Her husband of 35 years was struck by Venus Williams, who was at fault in a car accident, which ultimately resulted in Mr Barson being hospitalised 14 days with multiple surgeries which resulted in his death.”

The lawsuit, filed by the couple’s daughter, Audrey Gassner-Dunayer, asserts that her father’s injuries included “severed main arteries, massive internal bleeding, a fractured spine, and massive internal organ damage”.

The Barsons’ car was “crushed, the front windshield shattered, the airbags deployed, there was crush damage to the rear on the driver’s side, and the back window was shattered”, the lawsuit states.

The lawyer added: “At this point, we are attempting to both preserve the evidence and gain access to evidence.”

Mr Barson died in hospital on 22 June, his wife Linda’s 68th birthday.

Mrs Barson was also admitted to hospital after the crash.

Ms Williams was not hurt.

According to a police report obtained by US media, Ms Williams “is at fault for violating the right of way of” the Barsons’ vehicle.

Ms Williams’ car suddenly darted into their path and was unable to clear the junction in time due to traffic jams, witnesses told police.

The police incident report says that the estimated speed of Ms Williams’ vehicle at the time was 5mph (8km/h).

In a statement to US media, the tennis star’s lawyer, Malcolm Cunningham, said: “Ms Williams entered the intersection on a green light.

“Authorities did not issue Ms Williams with any citations or traffic violations.

“This is an unfortunate accident and Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one.”

The accident occurred just days after the seven-time Grand Slam champion was eliminated from the French Open.

She has not been criminally charged.

Ms Williams is currently in London to train for the Wimbledon tournament, which she has won five times – most recently in 2008.

The All England Club tournament begins on Monday.

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Twitter vs. 2017 Celebrity Death Scares

Elton John is alive and well, and his fans demand he remain so.

2017 has been pretty quiet so far in terms of celebrity deaths. Where 2016 was front-loaded with shocking numbers of major Baby Boomer-era celebrities dying young in the early months of the year, so far 2017 has seen us bid farewell to Mary Tyler Moore, Chuck Berry, Don Rickles, and just a handful of other well-known stars.

Obviously we miss those who’ve departed, but statistically speaking, it’s a good trend, the no-more-than-normal number of beloved inspirations dying in 2017, and it’s one we’re happy to see continue.

That’s why people kind of freaked out when they heard that Elton John was very ill.

The beloved singer canceled an eight-show run in Las Vegas this week after contracting a “rare and potentially deadly” bacterial infection. John has since connected with his fans to report that he’s “resting well and looking forward to getting back out on tour.”

That’s a big relief for those who were reeling from the announcement and worrying that it could signal the beginning of “2016 part two.” Just a sampling of what fans posted on Twitter:

As our colleagues at the Los Angeles Times noted almost exactly a year ago, our feelings about the lives and deaths of famous people are strongly connected to our feelings about our own lives. So add our sentiments of relief to the pile of tweets above.

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Debbie Reynolds death was a release

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Debbie Reynolds death was a release. Actress, Debbie Reynolds’ son says her death was a “beautiful exit”. The 84-year-old star died just one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher, 60, passed away last year and Debbie’s son Todd Fisher said his mother just wanted to be with Carrie. Speaking at a joint public memorial for the pair in Los Angeles last Saturday (25.03.17), he said: “When Carrie died, my mother decided to change her plans a bit. My mother always said to me, ‘I never want to go to my daughter’s funeral service. I would like to be buried with Carrie.’ I didn’t know she was going to leave us

that very next day and when she looked at me to ask permission to leave, she said she wanted to be with Carrie, and she closed her eyes and went to sleep. It was a beautiful exit.” The memorial – held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park – also included a tribute song written by James Blunt, a close friend of Carrie’s. He did not attend the service but the song accompanied a video montage.  Todd revealed he decided on a public memorial because his mother would have wanted her fans to be involved. He said: “The public is invited because that’s how my mother would want it. She was very connected to her fans and felt they were a part of her, so we’re opening it to the public.” The service was also livestreamed on Debbie’s website.

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Most ridiculous celebrity death hoaxes of all time!

Celebs have been killed by the hands of the internet time and again. Checkout some of the most ridiculous celebrity death hoaxes.

Rumors of a celebrity passing away isn’t a new trend on the internet. We’ve seen a number of people fall into the death hoax trap and they’ve had to come out the next day just to prove there are alive.

Heads they’re alive, tails they’re dead- that’s what we’re presuming these gossip mongers do before spreading death rumors like wild fire.

Recently, Bollywood veteran Farida Jalal found herself in a similar situation and had to clarify to the media that the rumors are absolutely rubbish. People had already made RIP FARIDA JI posters before she gave out a statement. She announced she is hale and hearty and the rumors are a complete hoax.

This isn’t the first celeb death hoax, check out some other ones that took the internet by storm in the past:

Amitabh Bachchan

The biggest star of Bollywood was announced dead on Facebook last year with obviously photoshopped images spreading like wildfire. The message read:

“At about 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday (February 23, 2016), our beloved actor Amitabh Bachchan passed away. Amitabh Bachchan was born on October 11, 1942 in Allahabad. He will be missed but not forgotten.”

Mother of hoaxes!

Honey Singh

Images of Honey singh passing away in a car accident in 2014 went viral. The angry singer later clarified they are completely fake.


Miley Cyrus

The songstress was killed by the hands of the internet in 2014. An edited picture of the singer overdosing on pills appeared with the caption “Miley Cyrus Found Dead”.


Jackie chan

A site broke the news of his death in 2011 to trick fans into believing the legend had passed away from a heart attack due to the stress of promoting his upcoming film “Kung Fu Panda 2” and also included fake quotes by friends and family!



RIP DRAKE started trending in 2014 and everybody joined the bandwagon. It was later announced by TMZ that the rapper is alive and will be performing at the superbowl!


Dilip Kumar

In 2014, a string of absurd tweets appeared igniting rumors that veteran actor Dilip Kumar died at Lilvati hospital during a surgery. It was later clarified that the rumors are completely baseless and he is very much alive.


Look alive people. Look alive.

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