I debated whether to blog about the celebrity deaths that occurred this week. So much has already been written. But both Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett were iconic symbols of the time in which I grew up, so I felt compelled to put something here.

Mary Farrah Leni Fawcett became known to the world simply as Farrah. From toothpaste to shampoo commercials: everyone knew Farrah, her toothy smile and gorgeous blond mane of hair. She was one of Charlie’s original Angels, an identity she found both a blessing and a curse. Struggling to be recognized as more than just another pretty face, later projects grew gritty and included Extremities and The Burning Bed. But I will always remember her as the tortured wife of Sam Elliott in the 1981 mini-series Murder in Texas. Based on a true story, it chronicles the twisted path of a prominent plastic surgeon suspected of causing the death of his first wife. The creep factor is high and this is a must-TiVo for those of you who enjoy crime dramas. Farrah is well cast as the unpretentious daughter of a wealthy member of Houston society who marries the wrong man.

“The Gloved One,” Michael Jackson, became an American superstar with albums like Off The Wall, Thriller, and Bad. He was an undeniable talent, cranking out hits and dance moves like no other. His presence was magical and his career meteoric. Back in the day, cheerleaders rocked the house to Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough, we spent weekends at Sportsworld roller skating to Rock With You, and experienced the Thriller video on big screens at a new teen haven called Julian’s. Later personal MJ favorites include Smooth Criminal, Who Is It, Will You Be There, and Scream (with sister Janet). For the sake of Jackson’s children, here’s hoping the negativity that dogged him in later years will finally be put to rest. Despite the craziness that his life became, Michael Jackson was a talent who deserves respect and remembrance.

Celebrity deaths have a way of affecting us differently than losing someone we actually knew. Perhaps they remind us of a special time in our lives, or an event that we haven’t thought about in years. Sometimes they represent a tangible item, other times just a feeling. Back in Jackson’s heyday, who would have thought that we’d see “the death of Michael Jackson” just 20-some years later? Now I know how my grandparents felt every time they were taken aback at the passing of an icon from their own era. The loss makes me feel sad and old at the same time. 
Rest in peace Michael and Farrah.
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