Look up “Celebrity Deaths 2016” on Google, and you will likely be confronted with the shocking news of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, respective daughter and mother, dying just one day apart.
Fisher, 60, suffered from cardiac arrest on a Dec. 23 flight and would die a few days later. Reynolds died shortly thereafter after enduring a debilitating stroke.
The double event has been a rallying cry for social media users wanting to get the year over with. You have probably heard from at least one Facebook or Twitter follower, “F*** you, 2016!” under the perception that the last 365 days have been worse than usual.
Well, one Reddit user following the “Celebrity Deaths 2016” trend decided to pull some figures and found that perceptions are closer to reality than some would care to think.
Taking the last three years of celebrity deaths, the community has compiled tables for 2014, 2015, and 2016. In those efforts, they found the following.
— JustJared.com (@JustJared) December 29, 2016
In 2014, pop-culture said goodbye to a total of 89 celebrity names. Some of those included Maximilian Schell, Harold Ramis, Mickey Rooney, Bob Hoskins, Jerry Vale, Maya Angelou, Chuck Noll, Casey Kasem, Tony Gwynn, James Garner, Lauren Bacall, Joan Rivers, and Joe Cocker. The full list can be found here.
In 2015, the number went up to 100 celebrity deaths, including Donna Douglas, Mario Cuomo, Rod Taylor, Ernie Banks, Leonard Nimoy, James Best, Percy Sledge, B.B. King, Betsy Palmer, Omar Sharif, Ken Stabler, Jackie Collins, Yogi Berra, Scott Weiland, Robert Loggia, and Natalie Cole. The full list can be found here.
That brings it to celebrity deaths for 2016. The final tally, or at least the final tally as of Dec. 29 when the thread was posted — 112. While the previous years included a number of people famous as actors, actresses, politicians, and sports figures, most were somewhat older in age or their accomplishments were tied to older generations. (Think NFL star Stabler or Rockford Files leading man Garner.)
The celebrity deaths in 2016 have seemed to focus on cultural icons from the 1970s, ’80s, and beyond, forcing, as Fox News observes, Generation X to take a more in-depth look at its own mortality.
The generation that came into adulthood learning and mastering the Internet and social media is now reacting to high-profile deaths of people they knew for Princess Leia, “Purple Rain,” and “Faith,” and it isn’t coming easy.
As Rob Withrow, 43, opined to Fox, “We were the generation that was going to change the world. When I was a young man, I watched people my age stand in front of tanks in Tiananmen Square and tear down the Berlin Wall. Now I find myself complaining about arthritis in my hands and taking care of my aging parents.”
“The musicians I admired growing up are now dying off. Hopefully, I still have quite a few more decades left in me, but the reality of dying is much clearer to see.”
While each generation has to experience an onslaught of celebrity deaths at some point, the Reddit community has placed some data behind the disdain many are feeling for 2016, and a 26 percent jump in celebrity deaths in just two years provides an interesting story to ponder.
At the very least, it makes one consider whether the effort to protect Betty White from 2016’s clutches is as crazy as it sounds.
— CNN (@CNN) December 30, 2016
But what do you think, readers?
What do you believe is causing the apparent increase in celebrity deaths for 2016? Sound off in the comments section below.