September 3rd, 2009
12:17 PM ET
"Ooooh, that smell / Can't you smell that smell / Ooooh, that smell / The smell of death surrounds you..." - Lynyrd Skynyrd
At first, I told myself it was a combination of coincidence and getting older: the longer you cover celebrities, the more of them you know and the more you know about them, so the more you notice. But it can't be denied any longer: celebrities have dropped at an alarming rate this summer. We lost Dom DeLuise on May 4 - you may not consider early May to be summer, but Hollywood does: X-Men Origins: Wolverine, this year's first "summer blockbuster," opened May 1 - and ever since, it's been an incredibly funereal season. With both Michael Jackson's funeral and DJ AM's memorial service tonight, it seemed a good time to recap the Summer of Death. In order of expiration:
Anyone who reads an entertainment news blog certainly remembers most of these figures, if not all of them, and while you can't equate the loss of a celebrity to that of a friend or loved one, their fame makes their passing something we can share as a society. With hundreds of television channels, nearly as many genres of music, and the entire Internet increasingly fragmenting our common entertainment experience, I think it's worth noting the things we still share - and sadly, this summer's celebrity death toll fits that bill.
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