After a week of tragic losses in the world of Hollywood, I felt it significant to discuss the lives of the greats (Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Ed McMahon) that we’ve lost in such a short span of time and how their lives transcribe into our own.
Earlier this week, I was en route to an appointment when the radio DJ announced that Ed McMahon had passed away. What? Ed McMahon? This was the man who entered our living rooms as both children and adults throughout the better part of the 20th Century. “Heeeeeeeeere’s Johnny!” McMahon would bellow from the depths of his lungs. His smile was cunning, but amiable. As a child, I don’t ever recall a time where Johnny Carson’s stocky counterpart wasn’t by his side on the popular “Tonight Show.” When he wasn’t onset with Carson, McMahon was popularizing the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes; swooning viewers with his matter-of-fact testimonials of winners’ past.
Among his comical contributions are his roles as the host of the Star Search talent show, and TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes. McMahon could’ve been anyone’s favorite grandpa, uncle, or a trusted confident. For those of us who remember him well, McMahon’s laughter will always remain in the pit of our hearts and a part of our lives. Edward Leo Peter “Ed” McMahon, Jr. was 86 years old. (March 6, 1923 – June 23, 2009)
During the 1970’s, every teenage boys’ dream girl was the unmatchable beauty, Farrah Fawcett. Her long, flowing blond locks framed her face like a stunning painting. Her striking smile and hypnotic blue eyes captivated fans without much effort on her part. All Farrah had to do was make an appearance, and she would light up a room instantaneously. Her role in the 70s’ pop culture series, “Charlie’s Angels,” opened doors for the art major blonde. Despite her roles as the often-ditzy blonde bombshell, Farrah gained mass acclaim and unadulterated respect in her dramatic portrayal of the battered Michigan housewife in “The Burning Bed.” Raising awareness about spousal abuse, Farrah went onto starring in other serious roles, including the made-for-television movie, “Small Sacrifices,” among others.
Who was she, really? Farrah was the ultimate woman that young girls and other grown women aspired to be; she was the woman that stole the hearts of young and old men alike; and in the end, she proved to be the fighter that she always was. Farrah showed courage up until she lost her battle to cancer. Her legacy is that no matter what happens in life, hope should always be your mentor. Ferrah Leni Fawcett was just 62. (February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009)
Last, but surely not least, is King of Pop’s Michael Jackson. This one-of-a-kind, super-talented vocalist will be sorely missed and remembered as the compassionate artist of what legends are made. From his humble beginnings with the Jackson 5 and the boy wonder of the 1960s, who wowed audiences with his incredible voice and perfectionist showmanship; to his innovative gift of choreographing some of the world’s most profound and transformational music videos; to his admirable ability to facilitate his talent to raise awareness on global hunger and starvation, AIDs, child abuse, and other charitable organizations, Jackson’s accolades were vast and admirable.
Holding numerous Guinness World Records, including the “Most Successful Entertainer of All Time,” Jackson and his multifaceted music have spanned the globe for nearly half a century. Closing generational gaps and bringing together all walks of life, Michael Jackson has been and will forever remain “the Icon” among icons. If England’s Rose was Princess Diana, Michael Jackson is America’s Star. Shedding light where there was darkness, restoring hope where there was none; Michael’s words will forever live in infamy: “Let us dream of tomorrow where we can truly love from the soul, and know love as the ultimate truth at the heart of all creation.” Michael Jackson was 50 years old. (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)
The immortality that seemed to shroud these iconic lives has once again been disproved by fate and the humble mortality that awaits us all. Overall, what this transcribes to is the fact that we are all just human beings. Death makes no difference if we are rich or poor, young or old, white or black, man or woman, famous or iniquitous, religious or not…we are simply defined by the lives that we lead, and the legacies we leave behind. Those of us who grew up with the likes of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson will always remember their presence and the small happiness they brought us. What have you done with your life? Who will remember you? And are you making a difference in someone’s life today?
*I leave you with one of my favorite songs by Michael Jackson, which paints an indirect picture of his own life:
Death waits for No One – Not even the King of Pop
Commentary by CarolAnnB – Social Media Sorceress