Sylvester Stallone is a Hollywood legend. He has been around the track a few times as one of the town’s more prolific tough guys. He has managed to make his Rocky films pay quite handsomely at the box office with amazing regularity and his Rambo franchise made him even more popular. But now, Stallone is to show his more refined side.
When I was growing up there was an old saying in my house about celebrities always dying in threes. I doubt that the idea was exclusive to my small household, as I’ve heard variations on that particular theme elsewhere. But the idea of celebrities (spelt actors or movie stars) dying in some sort of deathly trio usually dealt with older stars who were all of similar age groups. But recently a disturbing trend of younger casualties of the entertainment business has appeared and they’ve all had one thing in common.
Whether it be addiction to drugs or alcohol, love, or even the business of acting professionally, all but one, were under the age of 40 and they were all the more tragic because of their youth. Let’s face it, when we are older, folks grieve differently. By the time we’ve entered our “dotage” we’ve lived life and garnered plaudits for our achievements. These “youngsters” will not enter their autumn years nor will they garner any further awards.
Because, unless you’re James Dean, when you are gone, the awards; the adulation; all stop. The grim reaper has you as part of his world now and that bony fingered fellow doesn’t give out but the one award; the joining of his non-exclusive club.
I write for the Las Vegas Guardian Express. I have done so since April this year. I write what I call the fluff. Entertainment. I write about Miley Cyrus and her near nudity in the desperate attempt to ditch her previous incarnation of Hannah Montana once and for all. Kim Kardashian, Johnny Depp, Bruce Willis, et al. Most of them, with the exception of the Kardashians, all have one thing in common.
They are actors.
Yes, it can be argued that a lot of them wear several hats apart from the acting one, but even “Miley Cyrus as pop star” started as an actor.
The most recent list of entertainment business casualties are depressingly young, with the exception of Lisa Robin Kelly who had reached the age when death starts to visit us with alarming regularity, and two of them were seemingly successful artists with a long career ahead of them.
Are they any different than other young people in the world who either take their own lives too soon or mix a deadly cocktail of drugs and alcohol that proves to be the last thing they do before dying?
Yes and no.
Yes, in that people are people and they all act amazingly alike in most given sets of circumstances. No, because the two of the casualties I’m thinking of were in the entertainment business and actors by trade.
Actors live a dichotomous existence. The duality of their personalities require that they have almost super-human self-confidence combined with the odd mix of shyness married to almost crushing insecurity. They also usually have a bushel basket of talent and, if they are a younger star, charisma and good looks.
Gia Allemand who just died as the result of hanging herself, was a good example of all the parts of her life adding up to personal misery because the one thing that she really wanted was tantalisingly out of reach. She wanted to be a part of the perfect romantic union, without it she apparently did not feel complete and her inner disappointment combined with her use of self-medication to carry on, ganged up on her and drove her to end it all.
Cory Monteith had a publicly admitted addiction problem. He was another young actor who combined illegal drugs with his talent and some inner need to tune out the world via another form of self-medication. Like many other addicts, he struggled to stay “clean” and the battle ultimately cost him his life.
Neither of these two youngsters deaths are special. Thousands of their “peers” face the same dilemma’s that they faced. The biggest difference is that their lives were broadcast, if you will, because of their occupation. Actors live to act and if they are successful they then become a product that is constantly on show and for sale. To not be on sale is to not work, so the pressure is on 24/7.
So why are their problems, deaths or successes more important or newsworthy than their peers? Because of fame. Not all are equal in their share of the limelight, but all are in it to some degree or another. That is what makes their loss of life so tragic. They have achieved what we mere mortals cannot. A sort of immortality, even if it is fleeting; as was the case of Lisa Robin Kelly whose career took a nosedive after That 70s Show; an immortality that most of us rely on our children giving us.
It always saddens me when I have to write about a young star whose rise has been ended prematurely by their own hand, either accidentally or on purpose. They were the lucky ones who had that wonderful job that “they would have done for free” that we all search for. But the perfect job does not guarantee personal satisfaction. As an actor myself, I shake my head at the waste of so much talent. As a writer, I shake my head at the tragedy of a young person who will no longer be able to live their lives.
As person, I marvel at the inequalities of these particular entertainment business casualties who get so much attention from the world. The non-celebrity people of the world have their personal misery to deal with as well. They sometimes, like Allemand and the Indian actress Jiah Kahn, end their lives voluntarily. Others will, by “their own hand,” end it all accidentally. All are equally tragic, but real people who stare death in the face daily, do not get much more than a standard obituary column in the local paper. I will continue to write about the deaths of these young talented people, but I will never be able to rid myself of the needless sense of loss each time I sit down to chronicle a life too short.
Apart from my regular self-tasking, I decided that I did not have nearly enough to do so I accepted the baton of the Movie Jail “Relay Race”from my good friend Tyson over at Head In A Vice. I’ve not done a “blog-a-thon” before so I leapt at the chance to participate in this one.
”It’s time to put some movie people in jail. The object is to give a prosecutor’s argument as to why these movie people belong in “Movie Jail” whether it be for violating the integrity of the content source of one their films, or being a sell-out, just making bad movies overall, getting worse as time goes on or not being in a good movie for many years. The baton will be passed to another blogger who will have to do the following:
In order to free someone from Movie Jail they have to do 2 things
1 – Give a defense attorney argument defending the plaintiff
2 – Pay bail: the cost of which is another case for the court and a prosecutor’s argument against the actor/director of their choice that will replace the one set free.
In accordance with the rules, I will defend Raja Gosnell whom I feel has been erroneously placed on the list of criminals and has been unjustly incarcerated.
I ask you ladies and gentlemen of the jury; is it fair that the man who brought us Scooby Dooand Scooby Doo 2 should be jailed? Sure he brought out the lamentable Smurfsfilms, but I maintain that the two Scoobies more than adequately strike out that mark on his reputation. Add to this equation the fact that he also made Big Momma’s House and the superbly delightful Never Been Kissed and I think that his quality films outweigh his abysmal offerings.
Now that I’ve released Raja for his unfair and heinous imprisonment, I have to find a replacement. It is almost too easy, akin to shooting fish in a barrel. Without further ado, my replacement is –
Now don’t get me wrong, I mean no real ill-will towards Lindsay. But after starting what appeared to be a brilliant career, she has blown it all on the pursuit of…What? Drugs, a drink addiction, sure those can be fun, if that’s all you want out of life. But this gal had talent. And while I’ll never quite forgive her for the abysmal I Know Who Killed MeI could have overlooked the obvious lack of judgement in this debacle if she’d only cleaned herself up and started trying to act again.
To be honest, I’m amazed that she isn’t on the list already. Therefore with extreme prejudice I am incarcerating her for not reaching her potential as a performer and really letting the side down as an entertainer.
Right! Now that I’ve done my portion of this “race” I’ll pass the Movie Jail “Relay Race” Batonon to Misty over at Cinema Schminena. And as Jackie Gleason used to say, “And away we go!”
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