What do Grace Kelly, Gene Kelly, Lillian Gish, Ruby Keeler, Gergory Peck, Henry Fonda, Stanley Kubrick, Madeline Kahn, DeForest Kelley, Fay Wray, Michael Landon, Dalton Trumbo, Sal Mineo, Robert Mitchum, Anne Baxter, Rock Hudson, Orson Welles, Barbara Stanwyck, Ava Gardner, Greta Garbo, John Candy, Burt Lancaster, Anthony Perkins, Audrey Hepburn, Liberace, Cab Calloway, John Candy, Marlene Dietrich, Dean Martin, Orson Wells, Anne Baxter, Ava Gardner, William Holden, Ginger Rogers, Lana Turner, Gilda Radner, Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth, Cary Grant, Mary Pickford, Bette Davis, Natalie Wood, Robert Shaw, Alfred Hitchcock, Andy Kaufman, Jackie Gleason, Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, John Belushi, Jimmy Stewart, and Steve McQueen all have in common? Answer: There was a time when they were each on top of the world – adored by millions, and thanks to the silver screen’s ability to capture them in their prime, they seemed as if they would live forever. However, truth be told, the clock strikes midnight for everyone – regardless of their fame.
Over the past few months this reality was brought home to the staff at Rare & Early Newspapers as we discovered the death reports of some of the most famous Hollywood celebrities of all time – nearly all within Los Angeles newspapers. As Mark Twain not-so-subtly revealed through Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, and Frank Capra reinforced through the eyes of George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart – shown above) in It’s A Wonderful Life, sometimes a glimpse at the brevity of life can be a healing, re-purposing salve for the soul. With this in mind, please enjoy(?): Death Reports of the Hollywood Famous