The DeathList 2004

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The DeathList 2004

12 / 50 dead

So with the mighty 2003 now behind us DeathList 2004 is now up and running. Just a quick recap on the basics. The DeathList committee draws up DeathList at the end of each year with the objective selecting the most celebrities who will die in the next calendar year. The list comprises 50 celebrities with no more than 25 who appeared on the previous year's list. Some vigorous debate this year, but the new record of 14 deaths in 2003 is an ambitious target, which will be tough to beat. Thanks to all the people who made suggestions on the forum and to our in-house coding team. As usual comments by email are welcomed to comments@deathlist.netNow we sit and wait for them to drop...

The 2004 List

Rank Name Age Description
1 Pope John Paul II 84 Pope
2 Fay Wray 97 King Kong's squeeze
3 Max Schmeling 99 Hitler's Boxer (or maybe not)
4 Ronnie Biggs 75 Ambassador
5 Ronald Reagan 93 (former) Idiot
6 Simon Wiesenthal 96 Nazi Hunter
7 Michael Foot 91 Tramp
8 Ernest Gallo 95 Wine maker
9 Artie Shaw 94 Big Band leader
10 Rodney Dangerfield 83 Comedian
11 Princess Alice 103 Queen Mum's sister-in-law
12 Albert Hofmann 98 Creator of LSD
13 John Mills 96 Actor
14 Henri Cartier-Bresson 96 Photographer
15 Estée Lauder 98 Fashion leader
16 Claude Levi-Strauss 96 Scientist
17 Peter Ustinov 83 Writer, Actor & Raconteur
18 Alistair Cooke 96 Broadcaster
19 Frankie Laine 91 Singer
20 Queen Juliana 95 ex Queen of Netherlands
21 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi 93 Guru
22 Lord Scarman 93 Judge
23 Joseph Barbera 93 Cartoonist (Hanna-Barbera)
24 Gretchen Franklin 93 Eastender (Ethel)
25 Lord James Callaghan 92 ex-PM
26 Byron Nelson 92 Golfer
27 Charles Haughey 79 ex Irish PM
28 Edward Heath 88 ex PM
29 Gerald Ford 91 ex US President
30 Alexander Solzhenitsyn 86 Author
31 Ian Brady 66 All round Mr Nice Guy
32 Bill Deedes 91 Journalist
33 Karl Malden 92 Actor
34 Yitzhak Shamir 89 Ex PM Israel
35 General Pervez Musharraf 61 Former Pakistani President / Moving target
36 Red Adair 89 Fire Fighter
37 General Pinochet 89 Dictator
38 Eli Wallach 89 Actor
39 Arthur Miller 89 Playwright
40 PW Botha 88 Dictator (deposed)
41 Dom Mintoff 88 Ex Malta PM
42 Kirk Douglas 88 Actor
43 Vincent O'Brien 87 Horse Trainer
44 Herbert Lom 87 Actor
45 Arthur C Clarke 87 Scientist / Author
46 Kurt Waldheim 86 Nazi
47 Cliff Michelmore 85 TV Presenter
48 Mickey Rooney 84 Actor
49 Robert Mugabe 80 Dictator
50 Clive Dunn 84 DeathList Favourite

Latest News

  • 30th December 2004

    Shaw thing!

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    Big band leader, Artie Shaw, has given DeathList 2004 its 12th success with just hours remaining in the year. The 94 year old clarinettist was number 9 on this year’s list and had appeared three times previously. Most famous for his hit recording of "Begin the Beguine", he will never begin it again. His other claims to fame are that he was once married to Ava Gardner and Lana Turner (reportedly not at the same time) and also wrote a book called "I Love You, I Hate You, Drop Dead!", which ultimately he did.

    4 appearances: 2004 (9), 2002 (36), 2001 (32), 2000 (50)
    12th Death
    Age: 94, Big Band leader, Cause of death: TBC
  • 8th December 2004

    Good Lord - it's eleven in heaven

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    Lord Scarman has passed away, aged 93, to give DeathList 2004 its eleventh success. Scarman was clearly one of the more sane British judges, most famous for his official enquiry into the Brixton riots of the early 80’s, which seemed to identify the fundamental issues that created the conditions for the riots. He had made five appearances on DeathList since 1999 and was selected as number 22 this year. Now at eleven deaths for the year, this is the second best performance in DeathList’s history.

    5 appearances: 2004 (22), 2003 (21), 2002 (17), 2001 (37), 1999 (44)
    11th Death
    Age: 93, Judge, Cause of death: Old Age
  • 29th October 2004

    Alice doesn't live here anymore

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    After nine appearances on DeathList, the 102-year-old Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, has finally thrown in the royal towel. Whether she was famous enough for DeathList was debated many times but the media coverage in the UK seems to have clarified that. Reaching as high as number 4 on DeathList in 1999, Alice was this year’s number 11 selection and brings the year’s total to 10. Most interesting fact about her seems to be that she had a car crash on the way back from Winston Churchill’s funeral. No doubt Winston will be keeping a careful eye on his car when she drives up to the parking lot outside the pearly gates.

    9 appearances: 2004 (11), 2003 (7), 2002 (7), 2001 (9), 2000 (16), 1999 (4), 1998 (5), 1996 (13), 1995 (41)
    10th Death
    Age: 103, Queen Mum's sister-in-law, Cause of death: Old Age
  • 4th October 2004

    Rodney out of Danger...

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    82-year-old comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, has died after being in and out of a coma following heart surgery to give DeathList 2004 its 9th success. Dangerfield, selected at number 10 for this year’s list, was possibly best known (in the UK anyway) for his appearance in Caddyshack and had clearly been below par since surgery in August. Despite an endless list of witty quotes attributed to him he doesn’t seems to have come up with an appropriate one for his death, although he did once say "Life is just a bowl of pits" - so perhaps that’s the one.

    1 appearance: 2004 (10)
    9th Death
    Age: 83, Comedian, Cause of death: Complications following surgery
  • 8th August 2004

    No more monkey business!

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    96 year old Fay Wray has finally flirted with her last gorilla to give DeathList 2004 its eighth success of the year and the third in just five days. The ancient actress, most famous for her role in the 1933 version of King Kong (was this the first instance of "gorilla" warfare??), has been a DeathList regular since 1998 and was justifiably elevated to the number 2 spot this year. Not much to report about Miss Wray other than she was regarded a great actress and an even better DeathList candidate.

    7 appearances: 2004 (2), 2003 (11), 2002 (9), 2001 (22), 2000 (8), 1999 (11), 1998 (16)
    8th Death
    Age: 97, King Kong's squeeze, Cause of death: TBC
  • 7th August 2004

    Flames out for the last time for Red

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    The world's most famous fire fighter, Red Adair, has extinguished his last flame to give DeathList 2004 its 7th success. The 89-year-old Texan, who died of natural causes made 8 appearances on the DeathList since 1992 but won't be making any more. No details yet but he'll presumably be choosing cremation. Adair is quoted as once saying "I've done made a deal with the devil. He said he's going to give me an air-conditioned place when I go down there, if I go there, so I won't put all the fires out." We guess the installation of the air-conditioning system must now be complete.

    8 appearances: 2004 (36), 2003 (34), 1998 (33), 1997 (50), 1996 (41), 1995 (32), 1994 (24), 1992 (29)
    7th Death
    Age: 89, Fire Fighter, Cause of death: Natural Causes
  • 3rd August 2004

    Negative Development for Henri

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    Ancient photographer and DeathList regular, Henri Cartier-Bresson, has guaranteed one final exposure and the focus of the world's obituary writers with news of his demise at the age of 95. With five appearances on the DeathList and this year's number 14 slot, the French flasher is the 6th success for DeathList 2004. Cartier-Bresson came up with the photographical concept of "The Decisive Moment" and, frankly, his final moment appears to have been as decisive as it gets.

    5 appearances: 2004 (14), 2002 (39), 2001 (24), 2000 (36), 1998 (21)
    6th Death
    Age: 96, Photographer, Cause of death: Old Age (TBC)
  • 4th June 2004

    Ron's Gone

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    After appearing on DeathList for an incredible 14 times, finally our perseverance has been rewarded with news of Ronald Reagan's death. Reagan spent years suffering from a complete state of confusion and then, when his presidency ended, things got worse and he developed Alzheimer's disease. Ronnie may be remembered for many things (Reaganomics, the Star(t) Wars Project, dealing with naughty air traffic controllers etc.) but his DeathList job description of "idiot" proved to be a particularly controversial point for some forum visitors (most of them seemed fine about the prediction of his death though). So after another quiet spell, it's the fifth success for DeathList 2004 - a respectable performance so far for the first half of the year.

    14 appearances: 2004 (5), 2003 (22), 2002 (25), 2001 (38), 2000 (4), 1999 (5), 1998 (6), 1997 (8), 1996 (16), 1995 (17), 1993 (20), 1991 (9), 1990 (14), 1987 (26)
    5th Death
    Age: 93, (former) Idiot, Cause of death: Pneumonia
  • 24th April 2004

    Estee Lauder: Fashion Victim

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    Cosmetics Queen, Estee Lauder, has had her final make over to give DeathList 2004 its fourth success. The 97 year old finally succumbed to the extravagantly described 'cardiopulmonary arrest'. Appearing on the DeathList for every year since 2001 and selected at number 15 this year, perseverance has finally paid off. The DeathList drought now seems well and truly over and the monsoon season is here.

    4 appearances: 2004 (15), 2003 (15), 2002 (38), 2001 (11)
    4th Death
    Age: 98, Fashion leader, Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest
  • 29th March 2004

    That's the way the Cookie crumbles

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    Veteran broadcaster, Alistair Cooke, has lived up to recent anticipation of his imminent demise by becoming the third success of the year for DeathList 2004. Cooke, who was famous for his 'Letter from America' radio show, quit the programme a few weeks ago, prompting speculation that the 95 year old was about to quit the planet too. Cooke was this year's number 18 selection and becomes the third death in 10 days emphatically bringing to an end one of the worst barren spells in recent DeathList history.

    10 appearances: 2004 (18), 2003 (13), 2002 (10), 2001 (29), 2000 (11), 1999 (22), 1998 (45), 1997 (47), 1993 (6), 1991 (22)
    3rd Death
    Age: 96, Broadcaster, Cause of death: Heart Disease
  • 28th March 2004

    Ustinoff keeps his Appointment With Death

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    Peter Ustinov once declared, "The point of living and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come." Well, it's with Stiff Upper Lips that we can announce that Peter has finally managed to keep his Appointment With Death, gracing us the the second success this year for the Deathlist 2004. It's fair to say that the Winds of Change are finally beginging to blow for the Deathlist. There must be a few more nervous people on the list, following this landmark death.

    4 appearances: 2004 (17), 2003 (43), 1993 (30), 1990 (11)
    2nd Death
    Age: 83, Writer, Actor & Raconteur, Cause of death: Heart Failure
  • 20th March 2004

    Queen Juliana pops her clogs!

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    Its Edam all round at DeathList HQ with the news that Juliana, the former queen of the Netherlands, has picked her last tulip and triggered DeathList 2004 into bloom. The 94 year old stepped down from the Dutch throne in 1980 but took 24 years to succumb to a lung infection. She appears to have one famous quote attributed to her: "I can't understand it. I can't even understand the people who can understand it." I’m sure I speak for everyone in saying I know just what she means. Thank goodness those Dutch drug laws have been tightened up a bit in recent years! Juliana was number 20 on this year's list and will hopefully be the catalyst for plenty more DeathList activity.

    2 appearances: 2004 (20), 2001 (21)
    1st Death
    Age: 95, ex Queen of Netherlands, Cause of death: Lung infection
  • 1st January 2004

    Green light for DeathList 2004

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    So the 2004 list has been compiled to its usual high quality. Now lets see who's first for DeathList fame in 2004...