Since the beginning of the year, two celebrities who had been marked for death in the tabloids actually died. The first was Anne Francis, who died on January 3 this year. The low rent Examiner told us she was dying in June last year.
The other celebrity who died in the last three months after multiple predictions of her death going back at least fifty years was Miss Elizabeth Taylor. Most of the death predictions in the tabloids either say "xxx dying!" or "zzz's Brave Last Days!" but give no date as to when we can expect the inevitable. The Globe said in February that Miss Taylor's birthday last month would be her last, and with this they got the first correct expiration date.
And now the not so good news for the tabloids.
Six new names have been added to the list since the beginning of the year: Chuck Berry, James Arness, Steve Jobs, Nancy Reagan and Regis Philbin. This brings the number of people on the tabloid death watch who are still alive to 63, while 8 have died after being marked for death. This makes the tabloid batting average a pathetic .113.
And then there are the predictions with expiration dates. Since the beginning of the year, Michael Douglas, Bill Clinton and Steve Jobs have all survived past some tabloid prediction of their imminent demise. Others who have survived through such dire warnings last year are Dick Clark, who is still alive, and Elizabeth Edwards, who died two months after the "six months to live" date given to her by the Enquirer.
As my good friend Padre Mickey reminds us, if you say "xxx is dying!", you will eventually be correct. But if you read it in a tabloid, especially in the Three Wicked Step Sisters, the Enquirer, Globe and the low rent Examiner, don't hold your breath waiting for it.
Holding your breath that long can kill you. You can look it up.