Have you ever heard the myth that celebrities die in groups of three? Once again, it has been proven eerily accurate. In the past few weeks, the world lost three iconic figures: Lauren Bacall, Robin Williams and Joan Rivers. While these entertainers had very different styles, they all will be missed for their wealth of talent and individuality.
Lauren Bacall appeared in To Have and Have Not (1944) with Humphrey Bogart when she was just 19. The iconic couple married in 1945 and remained together until his death. Her early break into the movie business started the ball rolling for many exceptional movies to come like The Big Sleep (1946) and Key Largo (1948). Bacall was known for her strong personality in a male dominated world, where women’s rights were yet to be recognized. She was a political activist, campaigning for presidential elections and fighting for women both on and off the big screen. Bacall’s unique talent shone through in her remarkable career. Seventy years after her big break, Bacall will still be remembered as one of the very best actresses in Hollywood’s golden era.
There is no refuting the impact that Robin Williams had on comedy. He changed the comedy world with his wacky and eccentric style. His appearance on Happy Days (1978) brought him his legendary sitcom Mork and Mindy (1978), where Williams played an alien from planet “Ork” attempting to adapt to life on Earth. Williams appeared on the Johnny Carson Show (1981), wowing the audience with running banter and improvisation. He brought a new meaning to the word comedy. Williams continued his exceptional career, doing a wide variety of movies from those tackling serious subjects, such as Dead Poet’s Society (1989), to screwball comedies like Mrs. Doubtfire (1993). In 1998, Williams won an academy award for “Best Supporting Actor” thanks to his box office hit Good Will Hunting (1997). Williams’ death shows that happiness is not necessarily achieved with the acquisition of fame and money. Despite all of his success, Williams went through many of the same issues that countless others do. Mental health is a crucial topic that needs to become less taboo in our society. Depression must be accepted as a sickness that is as serious as any other disorder. There is no question that Williams’ death was a tragic one, but his image and contributions will live on and continue to affect the world of comedy.
Finally, the recent death of Joan Rivers was sudden and unexpected. One of the very first successful female comedians, Rivers’ comedic style was one that everyone could relate to. Rivers attributed much of her success to Johnny Carson, whose show she frequently guest hosted, from her first appearance in 1965. Rivers’ comedic style was known for being blunt and cutthroat, from her early stand-up routines to her critiques on the outfits of many celebrities on Fashion Police. Rivers published multiple books, hosted her own televisions series, and was the subject of many off-kilter reality television programs. Despite Rivers’ age of 81, the public seemed to forget that she was a day over thirty, as she always remained relevant and relatable. Her abrupt death seemed to bring sadness to everyone, whether or not they appreciated her unconventional humor.
The contribution of these three performers to their business is immeasurable. Each had very different talents and were known for their distinctive images. Without a doubt, they will be remembered and appreciated for years to come. So, for now, remember to stay away from cracks in the sidewalk, black cats and broken mirrors. Let’s hope that the next three celebrity deaths don’t come along for quite some time.
Image from https://twitter.com/joan_rivers