The cold hand of death grabbed them, damn it!
Annoyingly, death appears to be pretty much unavoidable, and this year people were dropping like flies. Hence, we decided to peruse through the endless lists of deceased, and found quite a few that we really weren’t ready to say goodbye to, making selecting just four corpses pretty tricky. Everyone’s favourite homosexual cowboy, Heath Ledger, didn’t make the list, and neither did everyone’s favourite heterosexual cowboy, Paul Newman. It wasn’t a good year for cowboys. Even prankster Jeremy Beadle couldn’t find a spot for himself – Beadle is not about, you might say. So, you can imagine that the four we did select are quite something, and you’d be absolutely right. Pour out a bit of liquor for the following:
1. George Carlin
Excellent stand up comic, and the friendly old guy in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, his heart packed in around June time. He’d had a pretty good life by all accounts – two good strong marriages, comedy so edgy that he was once arrested for being too rude, plus he was the first person ever to host Saturday Night Live. Below is an excellent clip from his legendary 1978 routine Seven Dirty Words.
2. Isaac Hayes
Some know him for his work on the 1970s blaxploitation landmark, Shaft. Others know him as Chef from South Park. But we know him as the man who did the best version of the much-covered Burt Bacharach classic, Walk On By (below). He was found dead on the floor next to an activated treadmill, tragically.
3. Mitch Mitchell
Mitch was the drummer in The Jimi Hendrix Experience, famous for fusing classic jazz drumming with rock drumming. The results were pretty fantastic, as you can see below.
4. Roy Scheider
It’s impossible not to adore the films of Roy Scheider. He was in Klute, Jaws, Jaws 2 and The French Connection in the 1970s – all absolute classics. Then Blue Thunder in the 1980s. Then, um, Wild Justice (?) in the 1990s. We’ll forever love him for Jaws though.