11 4 / 2014

Hello gamers! Now that we’ve finally had a proper springtime thaw, the CDP staffers were able to assess the rest of the winter deaths and get the leaderboard up to date. Here’s who we lost the last 2 months…

Peaches Geldof, English model and television presenter, and daughter of singer Bob Geldof, died suddenly on April 7th at age 25.

Mickey Rooney, legendary American actor, died at age 93 on April 6th.

James Rebhorn, longtime American actor, died at 65 on March 21st following a long battle with skin cancer.

L’Wren Scott, American fashion designer and model, and longtime lover of Mick Jagger, died at age 49 on March 17th after taking her own life.

David Brenner, comedian and regular on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, died at age 78 on March 15th after a battle with cancer.

Harold Ramis, American actor, writer and director, died at age 69 on February 24th of complications from vasculitis.

Garrick Utley, reporter and former news anchor for NBC News, died at age 74 on February 20th of prostate cancer.

Maria von Trapp, last of the singing children of The Sound of Music, died at age 99 on February 18th from natural causes.

Sid Caesar, Emmy-winning comedian and actor, died at age 91 on February 12th.

Shirley Temple Black, child actress and grown-up diplomat, died at age 85 on February 10th of natural causes.

Scoreboard:  Paul Z (2), Todd H (1), Michael S (1), Ron/Lorena Z (1), Brian E (1), Lori S (1)
Picks

02 2 / 2014

Oscar-winning actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on February 2nd of a suspected heroin overdose. The revered actor had an immense body of work crossing all platforms—film, television, stage—and touching many genres, and was drawn to deep, dense characters in which he could immerse himself whole-heartedly.

A lifelong New Yorker, Hoffman was a private person who rarely discussed his family, but was the proud father of three children, and long-time partner of costume designer Mimi O’Donnell.

The heartbreakingly talented actor—and director and producer—will be sorely missed, and will always be remembered for his enduring performances in Capote, The Master, A Late Quartet, Almost Famous, Boogie Nights, and The Big Lebowski (to name a mere few).

Hoffman was 46.

Scoreboard:  Paul Z (1), Todd H (1), Michael S (1)
Picks

01 2 / 2014

Austrian-born actor Maximilian Schell died on February 1st at the age
of 83. Schell, one of
Hollywood’s best-loved foreign stars, won the1961 Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance in Judgement at Nuremberg. He was one of the most successful German-speaking actors in English-language films, and received much acclaim as a director as well, with Oscar nominations for his 1984 documentary on Marlene Dietrich, Marlene

Scoreboard:  Paul Z (1), Todd H (1), Michael S (1)
Picks

27 1 / 2014

Legendary folk singer and political activist Pete Seeger died from natural causes on January 27th at the age of 94. A singer, songwriter, and member of the folk band the Weavers, Seeger brought traditional and political songs to the mainstream over his 7-decade career, writing hits like “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song),” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!” 

Though he never scored a Top 40 hit of his own, Seeger’s impact over the musical landscape was overwhelming, influencing artists from Bob Dylan, to Joan Baez, to Dave Matthews, to Bruce Springsteen. He used folk music as a platform to invite people to hear his thoughts, and sing with him, while lobbying supporting labor activists, environmentalists, and peace advocates for generations. To use the words of President Obama, “For reminding us where we come from and showing us where we need to go, we will always be grateful to Pete Seeger.”

Scoreboard:  Paul Z (1), Todd H (1), Michael S (1)
Picks

16 1 / 2014

Actor and comedian Dave Madden, best remembered for his portrayal of band manager Reuben Kincaid on 1970s TV’s The Partridge Family died on January 16th from congestive heart and kidney failure. Madden began his show business career as a magician and nightclub comic, and later went on to regularly appear on Laugh In and Alice. He was 82.

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Scoreboard:  Paul Z (1), Todd H (1)
Picks

16 1 / 2014

Russell Johnson, American actor and World War II Air Force veteran, died on January 16th from kidney failure at the age of 89. Johnson was best known as Professor in the 1960s TV sitcom Gilligan’s Island, who could make a barometer out of a coconut but couldn’t repair a hole in a boat to sail the castaways back to the safety of their homeland. Did you know Professor’s name was Roy Hinkley? 

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Scoreboard:  Paul Z (1), Todd H (1)
Picks

11 1 / 2014

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon died on January 11th.  Sharon, a retired Major-General, shaped much of Israel as we know it today. To borrow from media who, frankly, know more than I on the subject, “he was a farmer-turned-soldier, soldier-turned-politician, politician-turned-statesman—a hard-charging Israeli who built Jewish settlements on war-won land, but didn’t shy away from destroying them when deemed them no longer useful.”

A war hero to Israelis, and a war criminal to his enemies, Sharon suffered a stroke in January 2006 and fell into a coma, which would keep him incapacitated until his death this year. President Barack Obama remembered Sharon as “a leader who dedicated his life to the state of Israel.” He was 85.

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Scoreboard:  Paul Z (1), Todd H (1)
Picks

07 1 / 2014

Friends and competitors, we’re thrilled to have you aboard the
Celebrity Death Pool of 2014!

It’s been a busy winter for the CDP staffers, and you’ve all been
very patient awaiting the picks of your opponents. Well wait no more.
Here is the master list, which we’ll link to for every death posting so
you can easily track the action all year long. 

This year we have 11 competitors—many of whom are Zapusti,
the family most known for “friendly” competition with no shortage
of smack talk. (That includes Steins, too.)

There is a healthy pot to divvy up in another 10ish months, so keep
your eyes on Twitter and see just how good you are at predicting
this sort of thing. Good luck, everyone! 

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04 1 / 2014

Phil Everly, one half of the legendary singing duo The Everly Brothers, died on January 3rd of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 74. (All you lifelong smokers, take note.)

Everly and his older brother Don were known for steel-stringed guitars and close harmonies that made up some of their biggest hits, like “Wake Up Little Susie” and “All I Have To Do Is Dream.” The Everly Brothers were constant hitmakers in the ’50s and ’60s, and paved the way for future harmonic sensations like The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel.

The Everly Brothers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in its first year, 1986.

Bye bye Phil.

04 1 / 2014

Todd Hayes! 

As you all recall from the rules, the person who picks the most dead celebrities wins. In the event of a tie—which we had this year—we tally the points allotted to the position of each dead celebrity to establish the winner. Todd, who got his ballot in just under the wirelast January and who cameoed at my last 2 birthday parties, picked Hugo Chavez at
9 points and Nelson Mandela at 5 points for a grand total of 2 celebrities at 14 points. 

Todd walks away from CDP2013 with a whopping $447.13! Congratulations Todd! Maybe next year you’ll buy me a birthday gift :)

Our runner up with the same 2 dead celebrities is 
Joanna Lorenzon Curran! Joanna picked Mandela at 3 points
and Chavez at 2 points for a grand total of 5 points. 

Joanna walks away with $191.63, and will happily buy a round at the Cherry Tavern if anyone wants to visit the jukebox with her.

Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to all the participants and the committee for a great contest year (despite our complete collective inability to predict celebrity deaths). Now don’t forget to scour the internets and read your Star Magazines to figure out your lists for 2014. Everything’s due on Sunday!

Get crackin’ y’all.