the last famous person you were surprised to discover was actually still alive

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Who knew?

Gear! (Gear!), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 10:53 (eighteen years ago) link

(Richard Widmark)

Gear! (Gear!), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 10:54 (eighteen years ago) link

Saddam Hussein, obv

Ste (Fuzzy), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 11:01 (eighteen years ago) link

Stanley Baxter

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 12:21 (eighteen years ago) link

(Inverting the question completely) Thora Hird.

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 12:22 (eighteen years ago) link

she was famous.

RJG (RJG), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 13:25 (eighteen years ago) link

Anita O'Day: though I had never heard of her until the time I also learned that she was still alive.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 24 December 2003 13:26 (eighteen years ago) link

Clive Dunn is the obvious one.

Chriddof (Chriddof), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 14:43 (eighteen years ago) link

Dennis Hopper, every time.

TOMBOT, Wednesday, 24 December 2003 14:51 (eighteen years ago) link

Mickey Rooney

Bryan (Bryan), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 14:59 (eighteen years ago) link

She was famous, yeah, but I thought she was alive and she's not.

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 15:12 (eighteen years ago) link

So I guess it's only half-inverted.

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 15:12 (eighteen years ago) link

J.D. Salinger, every time I hear it, I'm surprised.

Huckleberry Mann (Horace Mann), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 15:14 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm always vaguelly confused that he even exists.

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 15:15 (eighteen years ago) link

George Jones.

Carey (Carey), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 15:19 (eighteen years ago) link

Elvis Presley

jewelly (jewelly), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 19:25 (eighteen years ago) link

Joe Namath - I could have sworn he had a heart attack years ago!

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 19:26 (eighteen years ago) link

Red Auerbach, who I had to make sure was still alive by going to Dead or Alive?

oops (Oops), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 19:31 (eighteen years ago) link

Wait, didn't Studs Terkel die? That site lists him as alive. Or am I thinking of Irv Kupcinet?

oops (Oops), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 19:38 (eighteen years ago) link

That guy from the Von Bondies

Lynskey (Lynskey), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 19:53 (eighteen years ago) link

I feel particularly bad for this, having been such a huge fan of his music, but only earlier in 2003 did I learn that Mr. Sly Stone in fact did not die sometime in the early 80s.

nickalicious at granny's crib, Thursday, 25 December 2003 17:35 (eighteen years ago) link

Ursula Moray Williams

robin carmody (robin carmody), Thursday, 25 December 2003 20:19 (eighteen years ago) link

Reg Varney

Bob Six (bobbysix), Friday, 26 December 2003 19:35 (eighteen years ago) link

Dave Allen

stevem (blueski), Friday, 26 December 2003 19:50 (eighteen years ago) link

I couldn't believe Christopher Lee was alive when I found out he was doing Saruman (and then the Star Wars dingus). He's like, 80!!!

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 26 December 2003 20:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Oops: Kupcinet just kicked the bucket about a month ago. Studs is alive and well.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 26 December 2003 20:01 (eighteen years ago) link

GENE WILDER. I swear he died.

TEH ONE AN ONLEY DEANN GULBAREY (deangulberry), Friday, 26 December 2003 20:54 (eighteen years ago) link

Reg Varney's still alive?

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Saturday, 27 December 2003 02:01 (eighteen years ago) link

richard pryor.

cozen (Cozen), Saturday, 27 December 2003 02:22 (eighteen years ago) link

i read something saying Nina Simone only died this year. Can that be right?

isadora (isadora), Sunday, 28 December 2003 08:39 (eighteen years ago) link

Windsor Davies

Ricardo (RickyT), Sunday, 28 December 2003 21:45 (eighteen years ago) link

gene wilder recently had a bout with cancer, which thank god he survived.

s1utsky (slutsky), Sunday, 28 December 2003 21:52 (eighteen years ago) link

five months pass...
Bosko Balaban Stats For Season

Name Bosko Balaban
Team Aston Villa
Total Appearances 0
Starts 0
Substituted 0
Total Minutes Played 0
Avg Minutes Played Per Start 0
Goals 0
Avg Goal Mins When Starting 0.0
Avg Mins Played/Goal Scored 0
Goals Scored As Sub 0
Number of Bookings 0
Total Booking Minutes 0
Avg Bookings Per Start 0
Number of Red Cards 0
Total Red Card Minutes 0
Avg Red Cards Per Start 0
Avg Booking Minutes When Starting 0.0

bosko, Monday, 14 June 2004 16:14 (eighteen years ago) link

I was surprised that Bosko even lived.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 14 June 2004 16:15 (eighteen years ago) link

three years pass...

Telma Hopkins!

but that was last week.

today it was ARNOLD STANG!!!!

don't know why i though telma hopkins died.

tremendoid, Friday, 8 February 2008 06:25 (fourteen years ago) link

Zsa Zsa Gabor just turned 91 a few days ago.

Roz, Friday, 8 February 2008 07:03 (fourteen years ago) link

abe vigoda

remy bean, Friday, 8 February 2008 07:11 (fourteen years ago) link

I think Ernest Borgnine is still at it too.

nickn, Friday, 8 February 2008 07:52 (fourteen years ago) link

doris day

Frogman Henry, Friday, 8 February 2008 08:00 (fourteen years ago) link

she's getting a grammy tomorrow

tremendoid, Friday, 8 February 2008 08:03 (fourteen years ago) link

two years pass...

Shirley Temple

lol @ dog w/ sunglasses (Pillbox), Thursday, 23 September 2010 19:06 (twelve years ago) link


Les centimètres énigmatiques (snoball), Thursday, 23 September 2010 19:07 (twelve years ago) link

Leonard skinner, but he's now dead.

Your cousin, Marvin Cobain (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 23 September 2010 19:08 (twelve years ago) link

I was surprised that Bosko even lived.

― Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, June 15, 2004 4:15 AM (6 years ago) Bookmark

dying here

had no idea Sam Beckett lived until 1989 until the other day

CharlieS, Thursday, 23 September 2010 19:12 (twelve years ago) link

j.d. salinger, but then he died not long after i found out

just1n3, Thursday, 23 September 2010 19:24 (twelve years ago) link

four months pass...

Louie Anderson

Godzilla vs. Rodan Rodannadanna (The Yellow Kid), Friday, 18 February 2011 06:17 (eleven years ago) link

He was on Tim & Eric a year or two ago.

Wacky Way Lounge (Evan), Friday, 18 February 2011 06:41 (eleven years ago) link

Kenneth Mars, but once again after he was dead.

Your cousin, Marvin Cobain (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 18 February 2011 07:56 (eleven years ago) link

Jane Russell

Alba, Friday, 18 February 2011 09:00 (eleven years ago) link

Clive Dunn

Alba, Friday, 18 February 2011 09:01 (eleven years ago) link

Scratch that idea then.

Long enough attention span for a Stephen Bissette blu-ray extra (aldo), Friday, 2 September 2022 09:45 (one month ago) link

The thing is they're not actually that old, Marvin and Welch were born in 1941, they were teenagers when the recorded "Apache".

Buckfast At Tiffany's (Tom D.), Friday, 2 September 2022 09:49 (one month ago) link

When I saw the start of that post in MacZing I thought it was going to be about Lee Marvin and Raquel Welch.

I’d Rather Gorblimey (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 2 September 2022 13:35 (one month ago) link

Doc Severinsen, who just played his last concert and retired at 95.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Friday, 2 September 2022 14:07 (one month ago) link

Doc is here?

pplains, Friday, 2 September 2022 14:16 (one month ago) link

The three original Grand Funk dudes are still around.

As far as I know all the original members of The Sonics - formed in 1960 - are still around, and until fairly recently they still toured. They're not all that famous but there was a flurry of interest back in the early 2000s because "Have Love Will Travel" was in an TV advert for VW. They were also on Nuggets.

I wrote an Amazon review in 2007! Yes I did. Do people still write Amazon reviews? They're all robo-generated now. What happened to that woman who reviewed every book, and it turned out she was just reselling them without even opening them? Hannie something. Harriet. Whatever.

Apparently I went to the trouble of sampling the start of "Psycho" to see how tightly the band came in. The song goes clattery drums -> "whoah..." -> "...BABY!" and the band come in on the first syllable of "...BABY!" because they were drilled like a military band. My review ended with "there is no Mellotron anywhere on the album". It got three upvotes. 2007. Not that long ago. Only fifteen years. That's nothing, really. I remember I was in a funk at the time but that Here Come the Sonics snapped me out of it because it's a really good album. Fifteen years. Imagine if I'd put £1,000 into shares in Apple every year since 2007. Fifteen years. Can't go back.

Ashley Pomeroy, Friday, 2 September 2022 20:16 (one month ago) link

Is Aerosmith still all found members?

Andy the Grasshopper, Friday, 2 September 2022 20:23 (one month ago) link


Andy the Grasshopper, Friday, 2 September 2022 20:24 (one month ago) link

I think Ray Tabano was their rhythm guitarist before Brad Whitford, but if you leave that aside I believe you are correct.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Friday, 2 September 2022 20:26 (one month ago) link

The most recent touring Sonics were the sax player + ringers, although the other guys still would do hometown gigs.

The Wikipedia article on the Sonics doesn't mention if any of them have died, which doesn't mean they haven't because they're not exactly notable individuals.

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 3 September 2022 16:53 (four weeks ago) link

There are people with Wikipedia open in the background purely so they can dive into the article and add a death date, so I imagine if anybody in The Sonics died it would appear in the article immediately. Right now I imagine several dozen Wikipedia editors have Clint Eastwood as a perma-background-tab so that they can beat everybody else.

I often wonder how you can win the "update the death of a celebrity on Wikipedia" game. Presumably you'd have to live in Los Angeles and have a police or ambulance scanner, plus an intimate familiarity with the addresses of major stars. Obviously a lightning edit would be reverted because it wouldn't have a source, but you'd still beat everybody else. If the rules require that you make the edit stick, you'd presumably have to be the first journalist with a verified Twitter account.

Ashley Pomeroy, Saturday, 3 September 2022 17:54 (four weeks ago) link

Is there a “the last famous person you were surprised to discover is dead” thread?

Anyway I think I must’ve heard that Lauren Berlant died when she did, but I’ve gone over a year now forgetting that she had

flamboyant goon tie included, Wednesday, 7 September 2022 18:57 (three weeks ago) link

Surprised no-one has ever mentioned David Attenborough, now 96, in this thread.

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 7 September 2022 19:17 (three weeks ago) link

That'll be because he's on the BBC so often no-one in the UK could possibly be surprised he's still alive.

Buckfast At Tiffany's (Tom D.), Wednesday, 7 September 2022 19:53 (three weeks ago) link

Yeah, I'm sure he'll still be working on a new series about The Magic World of Lichens long after he's gone

Andy the Grasshopper, Wednesday, 7 September 2022 20:07 (three weeks ago) link

It's a bit like someone being surprised the Queen is still alive... oh hold on though.

Buckfast At Tiffany's (Tom D.), Wednesday, 7 September 2022 20:10 (three weeks ago) link

Jane FOnda

| (Latham Green), Wednesday, 7 September 2022 20:24 (three weeks ago) link

just for Attenborough's cold Malthusian English arrogance I hope the old cunt dies very soon

calzino, Wednesday, 7 September 2022 20:32 (three weeks ago) link

Jaye P. Morgan, 90.

Infanta Terrible (, Wednesday, 7 September 2022 22:46 (three weeks ago) link

Roger Whittaker, 86

Dan Worsley, Saturday, 10 September 2022 06:46 (three weeks ago) link

I’m surprised he’s only 86! That’s first gen rocker/outlaw country age. Seems of an earlier generation.

bendy, Sunday, 11 September 2022 17:18 (three weeks ago) link

It's not really on-topic, but I was surprised to find out that David Whittaker - the unrelated 8-bit chiptune composer - is 65! In fact he's a year younger than Rob Hubbard. It's odd to think of the man who made the buzzy multi-channel music for all those old Codemasters "simulator" games being of pensionable age, but there you are. In comparison Tim Follin was born in 1970.

That led me to this Reddit thread, which makes me feel old:

Why does it make me feel old? I have no idea who those people are. Who is Godinpants? Who is Saskrotch? Who is Shitbird? When I was young I could get by in middle-class society by knowing a little bit about Stereolab and having some friends who were clued in to Warp / Rephlex. Now it's futile. I'll never catch up.

Ashley Pomeroy, Sunday, 11 September 2022 19:29 (three weeks ago) link

sure you will, yr on ilx

mark s, Sunday, 11 September 2022 19:35 (three weeks ago) link

Norman Podhoretz, 92.

alimosina, Friday, 16 September 2022 15:48 (two weeks ago) link

Vocalist Helen Merrill (92), whose first album in 1954 was arranged and conducted by 21-year-old Quincy Jones (89)

Josefa, Friday, 16 September 2022 18:12 (two weeks ago) link

Wow, good one!

Jean Arthur Rank (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 16 September 2022 18:17 (two weeks ago) link

Kenny Burrell (91)

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Friday, 16 September 2022 18:23 (two weeks ago) link

Virginia McKenna of Born Free and A Town Like Alice fame, 91

born on the bayeux (Matt #2), Friday, 16 September 2022 18:29 (two weeks ago) link

I was sure Amanda Barrie had died a couple of years ago but proved wrong on her birthday this year.

Long enough attention span for a Stephen Bissette blu-ray extra (aldo), Sunday, 18 September 2022 08:21 (two weeks ago) link

Why the fuck is Reagan Interior Secretary and noted Beach Boys hater James G. Watt still alive?

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 20 September 2022 06:39 (one week ago) link

heh, dude was only 45 when he resigned.

I assumed he was 100 years old back then!

pplains, Tuesday, 20 September 2022 13:20 (one week ago) link

Radio 2 DJ Pete Murray, 97.

lord of the rongs (anagram), Tuesday, 20 September 2022 14:22 (one week ago) link

Bob Barker, 98

frogbs, Tuesday, 20 September 2022 14:24 (one week ago) link

murray started on radio luxembourg in 1949

in the 70s he already seemed like part of the ageless landscape (not old exactly but definitely like he'd always been there)

mark s, Tuesday, 20 September 2022 14:54 (one week ago) link

Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy, 97.

Sam Weller, Tuesday, 20 September 2022 19:20 (one week ago) link

Benny from Crossroads! aka Paul Henry. Could have sworn he'd moved onward, but no.

Witness describes moment man 'ran up to Queen's coffin' (Matt #2), Tuesday, 20 September 2022 19:23 (one week ago) link

Ned Rorem, 99 in two days time.

Narada Michael Fagan (Tom D.), Wednesday, 21 September 2022 12:49 (one week ago) link

Frederick Forsyth, 84

I've seen things you people wouldn't belieeeeeeve!!! (Matt #2), Friday, 23 September 2022 19:36 (one week ago) link

Frederic Raphael, 91.

Narada Michael Fagan (Tom D.), Friday, 23 September 2022 20:35 (one week ago) link

After the Pharaoh Saunders news I wholly expected to have missed Marshall Allen's passing but was delighted to be wrong.

Long enough attention span for a Stephen Bissette blu-ray extra (aldo), Sunday, 25 September 2022 11:45 (one week ago) link

Sonny Rollins is a mere slip of a lad in comparison.

Narada Michael Fagan (Tom D.), Sunday, 25 September 2022 12:41 (one week ago) link

lou adler, 88, is still around

circles, Monday, 26 September 2022 02:27 (six days ago) link

xxp saw Sun Ra Arkestra earlier this summer at Solid Sound Fest and Allen was presented with a cake onstage for his 98th birthday! Band was smokin’ too.

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Monday, 26 September 2022 02:40 (six days ago) link

I notice there's a Bert I. Gordon film on tonight. He'll be 100 in September.

― Doodles Diamond (Tom D.), Friday, June 3, 2022 11:52 AM (three months ago) bookmarkflaglink

Unless the family is holding back bad news, he made it to 100 on 24 September.

Infanta Terrible (, Monday, 26 September 2022 16:56 (six days ago) link

Raoul Vaneigem, 88.

Narada Michael Fagan (Tom D.), Thursday, 29 September 2022 11:47 (three days ago) link

he'll be happy w/how things are turning out

mark s, Thursday, 29 September 2022 12:44 (three days ago) link

Roberta Flack, 85

Alba, Sunday, 2 October 2022 12:45 (six hours ago) link

Composer (Mission Impossible theme, among others) Lalo Schifrin, 90

Heard an interview on NPR this morning.

nickn, Sunday, 2 October 2022 16:50 (two hours ago) link

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