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A London Sims Tribute To Some Of The Stars We Have Lost in The Last 4 Months (Part Two) February and March – April 3rd by Jas

May 7, 2016 • News

 Welcome back regular blog readers, I am returning, again, to the subject of celebrities who we lost in the four months between December last year and the beginning of April this year, as I feel that there is something important (sociologically)  going on here. Also, the London Sims would like to pay tribute to them , as many people at our events or in the hub discuss the losses of these famous names  or (as in the case of musicians) request their songs to be played here. So let`s return to February this year.

February 2016

 On the 19th of February a classic American novelists life ended. Harper Lee (89) was the author of "To Kill A Mockingbird", which won the Pulitzer prize in 1961, and was made into a film in 1962. In 2007 she was given the "Presidential Medal Of Freedom" for her part in bringing forward issues about race in the US, and for contributing such a great novel,which, due to being considered one of America`s modern classics , is often studied by literature students around the world.

Harper Lee Medal

 

 Then, on he 2The Last Crusaders costumes (Comiccon 2010)2nd of the month, a great British cinematographer died. Douglas Slocombe- the only member my list to have made it past his hundredth birthday (Douglas was 103)- filmed some of the grat Ealing classics like “Kind Hearts And Coronets”(1949) and “The Lavender Hill Mob ” (1951). Perhaps his most known movies- at least to our generation- are the three Indiana Jones films that he made. The picture to the left was  taken at a Comic-con in the US, which is serendipitous as in the London Sims, May is our Comic-Con month.
 Snapshot_001.png opThe  picture to the left is  not from the original movie! I spotted this when at a friends Rez Day Party in Second Life. Needless to say, it was all a joke, and the avatar in question isn`t really planning this porn parody!
 

March 2016

On March thITV logo 2013.svge 2nd we lost someone whose contribution to British TV is still evident today. Tony Warren (79) was the man who dreamed up  ITVs Coronation Street.

 

In creating the popular series, which has become the world`s longest running soap opera, the legacy he leaves us with is clear, as “Corrie” is a pretty safe bet to stay on our screens for many more decades!

Then, on the fourth, there was the death of someone whose work in the multi-billion dollar Star Wars movies certainly affords him more than a quick mention. Tony Dyson (who died aged 68) designed and built R2 D2 , one of the iconic droids who, along with his side kick C3PO, are the only characters to have appeared in all the Star War movies. There was another notable Star Wars actors death this year too, but, since that was in April,  I `ll leave that one for a minute.

Snapshot_005.png sully and tru
In the London Sims we celebrated “May The Fourth Be With You ” day in our very own Star Wars bubble in the sky. DJ Dreamer,  (pictured below, left) dressed as a sexy storm- trooper, played some very amusing song parodies, and my avatar Jas (pictured at the top of the page dressed as Princess Leia) contributed by hosting a Star Wars trivia event at the same time.
Then Snapshot_006.png dreamer leftDJ Sully (pictured above as Chewbacca ) and his lovely host TruLady continued the party for another few hours. We had a lot of positive comments about the event, which makes the Doctor Who event we have planned for next Wednesday (the 18th May) look like it will prove to be extremely popular!

 Then, on March the seventh, Scotland lost a great film and theatre producer. Michael White (80) was perhaps best known in film production  for  “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, but  he also produced another 25 films and 101 stage plays.

Die Ritter der Kokosnuss Logo

ThLogo-Emerson, Lake and Palmeren on the 10th it was the turn of Keith Emerson (71) , of the band Emerson, Lake and Palmer to leave us. Emerson was the keyboard player in the very successful British group in the seventies. Their biggest hit single was “Fanfare For The Common Man”, which reached number two in the UK charts. The band had broken up by the end of the seventies, but later re-formed in 1991.

 On the 17th March Paul Pual-DanielsDaniels (77), a massive name to people of my generation in the UK, left us. He was predominantly a magician (having a prime time magic show on BBC TV for 15 years), but also became more of an all round TV personality and game show host throughout the Eighties and Nineties in Britain .”You’ll like this … not a lot, but you’ll like it” became his catchphrase, and according to his autobiography a lot of women did – he claimed to have bedded 300 in his lifetime! His second wife, Debbie McGee had been his magic assistant for many years before their marriage.
           (A possible hint for men who have trouble pulling:- Show `em your magic tricks!)
On the last day of March two more big British TV names died.
Holmes!!... (4265771518)
Firstly, Douglas Wilmer (91) was best known for his portrayal of the literary London detective Sherlock Holmes, who he played in several series` in the sixties. Also a renowned Shakespearean theatre actor, Wilmer  will be remembered  most as the Deerstalker hat wearing  super sleuth. The Sherlock Holmes Society of London described him as “the definitive Holmes”.
 Ronnie-corbettThe popular, Ronnie Corbett (85), the second of the stars who  left us on the 31st of March, was another huge name in entertainment right from his first appearances on our screens in 1960 through to 2010 when he was still appearing in BBC Radio Four plays. The Scottish comedian was probably best known for “The Two Ronnies”, in which he and Ronnie Barker become one of the biggest double acts in UK TV history. Who can forget the “Fork Handles” sketch?
One of the biggest compliments made on his abilities came from another familiar name (especially since we have just mentioned the Monty Python Team). Fellow comedian John Cleese said that Corbett had the “best timing” he had ever seen, which was probably a compliment  that Ronnie would have been very pleased with indeed!

 April 2016

Earlier on in the article I mentioned another person who was significant to the Star Wars series of movies who had died this year.

No it wasOtakuthon 2014- Admiral Ackbar (14843190667)nt Admiral Ackbar himself (!) but rather the voice actor behind both him and Bib Fortuna. Erik Bauersfeld (93) predominantly appeared in radio plays, but also provided some of the voices for several big movie characters. He voiced both Ackbar and Bib in “Return of the Jedi”, and then the infamous admiral from the dark side again in “The Force Awakens”, which was released only last year. The movie became the biggest grossing film in US history, so the involvement of Bauersfeld seems to have been a fitting swansong for an actor with such an instantly recognisable voice.

 

In Conclusion

And so the average age of death  (amongst the celebrities I have been covering in my previous two blogs) is 75 .6 years. If you feel like this is a little low just take into account the fact that these people were celebrities, and not your average person.  After all last week one woman (Susannah Mushatt Jones) died in America aged 116 , and she has been succeeded (as  the the oldest verified living person on earth) by  Emma Martina Luigia Morano,  from  Italy, who at 116 and a half, is still going strong. Emma`s secret to a long life was  recently revealed.  She makes sure to eat  three raw eggs a day, along with a glass of home made brandy. She also occasionally enjoys a chocolate. As for lifestyle choices, she says she has never used drugs, likes living alone (which she still does despite her age) and tries to always think positively about the future.

The other thing to remember is that  the time period we looked into covered only  the winter months (meaning that probably those who were unwell were more likely to lose their fight to live), so  it may be that we won t see so many famous obituaries over the next few months. The way to study this properly would be to (possibly) assume that the winter months would involve a fluctuation but to do an overall study of a set five period- ie. five years.  Leaving that task to the sociologists, though, I have heard a few more theories as to what could have caused such an increase in reports on celebrity deaths which I want to get off my chest.

One theory is that there are simply more celebrities these days than there ever have been before. With hundreds of TV channels, the increase over the last fifty years in movies made, and all the social media we have nowadays those people are bound to have become more known. Also there is the theory that celebrities make certain life style choices. I am not for a moment suggesting that the celebrities I have covered have been involved in any dubious activities ( mainly because I don`t want to be sued!), but some would say that the pressures of stardom (or the massive amounts of money gained from it) could lead to drug or alcohol abuse, which could lead to a shortening of their life spans. (Phew got past that point without incriminating myself!)

A theory that could explain the increase in deaths  in all walks of life though (not simply celebrities) could be that there were so many of the  generation of people born just after the war, that now they have reached a certain age, there is also bound to be a percentage of them dying. The answer to the question could be as simple as that. But  I have also heard another interesting theory. That generation were the first to grow up with totally widespread antibiotics available – and in Britain available to everyone whatever your financial status, thanks to the NHS. Could it be that in previous generations a lot of the less sturdy people would have died in childhood due to disease, and that we are now just seeing those same people succumbing to illnesses (like cancer) which we still cannot treat? This is not to suggest that those who are dying are somehow weaker emotionally, but are perhaps those who in the natural world (because we are all just animals after all) would have had less strong immune systems, and would have been more likely to die.

If that were true I have just had my very own idea with regards to celebrities. What if those who were the ones who went into the creative professions (ie. entertainment) were always the people who were less physically strong (those who were less sporty, for example), which perhaps led to them developing  the more arty and sensitive sides to their  personalities.

Oh wow, this blog became more like an essay! If you`ve read to the end , thanks for accompanying me on this journey, over this and my previous three blogs. This was a phenomenon I was really interested in personally , and wanted to explore those who had died, and to theorise on the possible causes. Thanks  loyal blog readers.

 

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