R.I.P. Dennis Hopper, Gary Coleman, and Art LinkletterIt’s one of those weird coincidences that celebrity deaths seem to come in threes. Last year Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Ed McMahon passed within two days of each other – Michael and Farrah on the same day. Now, over the past four days, we’ve lost Art Linkletter, Gary Coleman, and, today, Dennis Hopper.
Hopper, 74, died of prostate cancer; Coleman, 42, after suffering an intracranial hemorrhage; no specific cause has been given for Linkletter, who was 97 years old.
The idea that death comes is threes is an old superstition, extending to the idea that death in a family or community comes in threes and that bad luck in general comes in threes. A book titled “How Did It Begin” explains that the superstition of three may have started with British troops in the Boer War who thought it bad luck to light three cigarettes from one match.
Some miscellaneous thoughts on the latest three stars:
Inverting a famous line of dialogue spoken by Peter Fonda in “Easy Rider,” Manohla Dargis wrote of Dennis Hopper in The New York Times:
Dennis Hopper – actor, filmmaker, photographer, art collector, world-class burnout, first-rate survivor – never blew it. Unlike the villains and freaks he has played over the decades – the psycho with the mommy complex in “Blue Velvet,” the mad bomber with the grudge in “Speed” – he has made it through the good, the bad and some spectacularly terrible times. He rode out the golden age of Hollywood by roaring into a new movie era with “Easy Rider.” He hung out with James Dean, played Elizabeth Taylor’s son, acted for Quentin Tarantino. He has been rich and infamous, lost and found, the next big thing, the last man standing.~~~~~
Number One on ChartAttack.com’s “Ten Reasons Gary Coleman Was Cool” list:
Coleman made cameo appearances in several music videos going back to the early '90s. Some notable ones include Raging Slab’s “Anywhere But Here,” Kid Rock’s “Cowboy,” and Moby’s “We Are All Made Of Stars.”~~~~~
Art Linkletter’s biggest successes came mostly before my time, but I’m familiar with “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” the Bill Cosby-hosted TV series based on Linkletter’s books. Linkletter was also a passionate anti-drug activist – his daughter, Diane, jumped to her death in 1969, an act Linkletter said was caused by her LSD usage.
Today’s music is a seeming bizarre mix of things, but trust me when I tell you I will relate it all back to our topic: “Born to Be Wild,” of course, was made famous in Easy Rider; “Cowboy” I explained above. (That video is here); “We Love You; Call Collect” is an appeal to an erring daughter to return home. Linkletter recorded the song with Diane, ironically, just a few months before her death.
Born to Be Wild.mp3 ~ Steppenwolf
Cowboy.mp3 ~ Kid Rock
We Love You; Call Collect.mp3 ~ Art and Diane Linkletter