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Deaths Out of Left Field

I didn't even know he was sick

I added "Meet the Press" moderator Tim Russert's name to a mental list I've been keeping for a while now. The list contains names of famous people who died unexpectedly and made you say, "wow I never expected (insert deceased name here) to die." But, as with most of my lists, I do have rules. Celebrities over a certain age are not eligible (ie Bob Hope , George Burns, etc.). Presidents, world leaders, and politicians are off the list for obvious reasons. Cancer victims and celebrities who contract AIDS or other diseases are also off the list. The announcement of the illness may be unexpected but by the time the death comes we're prepared. Finally, the entire Kennedy family is ineligible. That family is cursed and unexpected Kennedy death is a expected.

So here's the list starting with the most recent unexpected death and then grouped according to cause of death. Please feel free to comment.

  • Tim Russert (heart attack)
  • Robert Palmer (heart attack)
  • Richie Ashburn (heart attack)
  • Elvis Presley (heart attack)
  • Jim Fixx (heart attack)
  • Elvis Presley (heart attack)
  • Jerome Brown (car accident)
  • Pele Limburgh (car accident)
  • Jessica Savage (car accident)
  • Princess Grace Kelly (car accident)
  • Princess Diana (car accident)
  • Jayne Mansfield (car accident)
  • James Dean (car accident)
  • Patsy Cline (plane crash)
  • Jim Croce (plane crash)
  • Ricky Nelson (plane crash)
  • Roberto Clemente (plane crash)
  • Payne Stewart (plane crash)
  • Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, Big Bopper (plane crash)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd band members (plane crash)
  • Aaliyah (or is it Ashante?) (plane crash)
  • Rocky Marciano (plane crash)
  • John Denver (plane crash)
  • Stevie Ray Vaughn (helicopter crash)
  • Bill Graham (helicopter crash)
  • River Phoenix (drug overdose)
  • Heath Ledger (drug overdose)
  • Marilyn Monroe (drug overdose)
  • John Belushi (drug overdose)
  • Chris Farley (drug overdose)
  • Michael Jackson  (drug overdose, June 25, 2009)
  • Tim Buckley (drug overdose)
  • Jeff Buckley (drowning)
  • Natalie Wood (drowing)
  • John Marzono (fall)
  • Ahmet Ertegün (fall)
  • Dr. Robert Atkins (fall)
  • Phil Hartman (murdered)
  • John Lennon (murdered)
  • Lee Harvey Oswald (murdered)
  • Selena (murdered)
  • Jim O'Brien (skydiving accident)
  • Reggie White (cardiac and pulmonary sarcidosis)
  • Sonny Bono (skiing accident)
  • John Ritter (aortic dissection)
  • Steve Irwin (stingray barb)
  • Jim Hensen (streptococcus pneumonia)
  • Duane Allman (motorcycle accident)
  • Berry Oakley (motorcycle accident)
  • Bruce Lee (brain aneurism)
  • Brandon Lee (misfired prop gun)
  • Freddie Prinze (suicide)
  • Nick Drake (suicide)
  • Budd Dwyer (suicide - shot himself in the mouth with a revolver on TV)
  • Mama Cass Elliott (cardiac arrest)
  • Johnny Ace (accidental self inflicted gun wound to the head)
  • Terry Kath (accidental self inflicted gun wound to the head)
  • Keith Relf (electrocution)
  • Jimi Heselden, owner of the Segway (fell off a cliff while on a Segway)

This list represents unexpected deaths that you knew were eventually going to happen:

  • Kurt Cobain
  • Anna Nicole Smith
  • Janis Joplin
  • Jim Morrison
  • Keith Moon
  • Dennis Wilson
  • Brian Jones
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Sid Vicious
  • (reserved for Amy Winehouse)

Paul Altobelli

Home Office, 1219 Martin Ave, Cherry Hill, NJ, 08002, United States