The DeathList 2007

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The DeathList 2007

10 / 50 dead

2007 sees the twentieth anniversary of the DeathList so let’s hope for a particularly successful year. For those unfamiliar with DeathList, here is a quick recap of the idea: A list of 50 celebrities is selected by the DeathList committee before the start of each calendar year for their likelihood to die during that year. Candidates must have a certain level of famousness, which is basically that their demise must be expected to be reported by the UK media. Candidates are ineligible if their only claim to fame is their likely death in the near future. Also, no more than 25 celebrities that appeared on the previous year’s list can be selected. 2006 finished with a solid score of 13 successes, but the 2003 record of 14 deaths remains intact.

The 2007 List

Rank Name Age Description
1 Fidel Castro 81 Dictator
2 Ariel Sharon 79 Ex-Israeli Prime Minister
3 Ruby Muhammad 110 Mother of the Nation of Islam
4 Charles Lane 102 Actor
5 Albert Hofmann 101 Creator of LSD
6 Oscar Niemeyer 100 Architect
7 Michael Foot 94 Tramp
8 Ernest Borgnine 90 Actor
9 Billy Graham 89 Evangelist
10 Ronnie Biggs 78 Ambassador
11 Brooke Astor 105 Philanthropist
12 Tim Johnson 61 US Senator
13 Rowdy Roddy Piper 53 WWE Wrastler
14 Claude Levi-Strauss 99 Scientist
15 Ernest Gallo 98 Wine maker
16 Lady Bird Johnson 95 Former first lady
17 Bill Deedes 94 Journalist
18 Mark Felt 94 Deep Throat
19 Tammy Faye Messner 65 Evangelist
20 Karl Malden 95 Actor
21 Eli Wallach 92 Actor
22 Les Paul 92 Guitar maker
23 Yitzhak Shamir 92 Ex PM Israel
24 Dom Mintoff 91 Ex Malta PM
25 Kirk Douglas 91 Actor
26 Olivia de Havilland 91 Actress
27 Herbert Lom 90 Actor
28 Vera Lynn 90 Singer
29 Alexander Solzhenitsyn 89 Author
30 Oral Roberts 89 Evangelist
31 Betty Ford 89 Clinic owner
32 Dino de Laurentiis 89 Film Producer
33 Ian Smith 89 Ex-Rhodesian PM
34 Ingmar Bergman 89 Film Director
35 John Forsythe 89 Blake Carrington
36 Kurt Waldheim 89 Nazi
37 JD Salinger 88 Author
38 Jake LaMotta 86 Boxer
39 John Demjanjuk 87 Nazi Collaborator
40 Al Molinaro 88 Happy Days Al
41 Abe Vigoda 86 Actor
42 Suharto 86 Ex President of Indonesia
43 Patrick Moore 84 Astronomer
44 Gore Vidal 82 Author
45 George Melly 81 Jazz Man
46 Jerry Lewis 81 Comedian
47 Jack Kevorkian 79 Dr Death
48 Harold Pinter 77 Playwright
49 Louis Farrakhan 75 Nutter
50 Clive Dunn 87 DeathList Favourite

Latest News

  • 20th November 2007

    The Late Ian Smith Obituary

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    Ian Smith, former Prime Minister of Rhodesia, has died aged 88, to give Deathlist 2007 its tenth success of the year. Smith perpetuated minority white rule in Rhodesia for many years against international pressure before changes finally took place in 1980 when the country was renamed Zimbabwe and in a "frying pan and fire" manoeuvre Robert Mugabe took over as Prime Minister. This was Smith’s first appearance on DeathList, being picked in the number 33 slot.

    1 appearance: 2007 (33)
    10th Death
    Age: 89, Ex-Rhodesian PM, Cause of death: Old age
  • 16th August 2007

    A DeathList in need has a friend in Deedes

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    Nonagenarian British Journalist and former politician, Lord Bill Deedes, has written his last column and thus continues DeathList 2007’s hot streak. The well-respected, 94 year old Deedes was appearing on DeathList for the fifth time and this year was the number 17 selection. Another easy pick maybe, but he proved to be a tough nut to crack. The former editor of the Daily Telegraph was also a cabinet minister in Britain in the 1960s, securing a one of those “Minister without Portfolio” roles. So like a good wine, with nine successes, it appears DeathList 2007 is maturing well with age. The next four or so months will tell if it is to become a vintage champagne.

    5 appearances: 2007 (17), 2005 (30), 2004 (32), 2003 (26), 1996 (46)
    9th Death
    Age: 94, Journalist, Cause of death: Unknown
  • 12th August 2007

    Brooke Dries Up

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    105 year old philanthropist and socialite, Brooke Astor, has passed away to give DeathList 2007 its eighth success. Astor was famed for her philanthropic work as head of her third husband’s foundation, although hit the headlines in 2006 when her grandson accused her son (his father) of abusing her and plundering her estate. This was Astor’s third appearance on DeathList, this year at number 11 and sees DeathList 2007 continues the excellent run of form that has seen seven deaths in the last two months.

    3 appearances: 2007 (11), 2006 (4), 2005 (6)
    8th Death
    Age: 105, Philanthropist, Cause of death: Pneumonia
  • 29th July 2007

    Bergman in the can!

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    Swedish Film Director, Ingmar Bergman, has passed away to chalk up the seventh success for DeathList 2007. During his 89 years, Bergman produced some 40 or so movies, five wives and nine or so children. In only his second appearance on the DeathList, Bergman was 2007’s number 34 selection and his passing continues the impressive sequence of deaths in recent weeks.

    2 appearances: 2007 (34), 2006 (35)
    7th Death
    Age: 89, Film Director, Cause of death: Old age
  • 21st July 2007

    Faye(th) No More

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    Tammy Faye Messner/Bakker, former wife of corrupt TV evangelist Jim Bakker, has succumbed to cancer to continue DeathList 2007’s summertime hot streak. Tammy Faye was 65 and had generously alerted death watchers to her imminent demise some time ago. Her 19 July appearance on Larry King Live provided further evidence that the title of her second autobiography published in 2003, “I Will Survive” was somewhat tongue in cheek. Tammy Faye was DeathList 2007’s sixth success and the fifth in the space of six weeks, firmly putting things back on track and now perhaps quietening down some of those critics about the quality of this year’s candidates.

    1 appearance: 2007 (19)
    6th Death
    Age: 65, Evangelist, Cause of death: Cancer
  • 10th July 2007

    Ladybird, ladybird fly away home!

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    Lady Bird Johnson, wife of former president Lyndon B Johnson, has died, aged 94, giving DeathList 2007 its fifth success of the year, but more importantly its third hit in the last 7 days. As with Charles Lane, Lady Bird Johnson was only making her second appearance on DeathList and was this year’s number 16 selection. So now we wait to see if the long-awaited hot streak can continue and squeeze a respectable score from 2007’s worryingly healthy list of celebrities.

    2 appearances: 2007 (16), 2006 (16)
    5th Death
    Age: 95, Former first lady, Cause of death: Natural causes
  • 9th July 2007

    Exit Lane

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    Veteran actor, Charles Lane, has passed away at the ripe old age of 102 to give DeathList 2007 its fourth success. Lane appeared in a vast number of movies from the 1930s onward but this was only his second appearance on DeathList, often being left off for being too old and too soft a target. His selection this year in the number four slot perhaps sees a change in fortune for DeathList 2007, being the third success in the last month.

    2 appearances: 2007 (4), 2006 (5)
    4th Death
    Age: 102, Actor, Cause of death: Unknown
  • 4th July 2007

    George Melly – the man no longer on the telly

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    British Jazz celebrity, George Melly, has improvised his last to give DeathList 2007 its long overdue third success of the year. 80 year old Melly had been in bad health and was making his third appearance on DeathList, this year sneaking in at the number 45 slot. Like all good Jazzmen, Melly was finally taken down by lung cancer and presumably moves on to a long booking at the star-studded Ronnie Scott’s in the Sky. The slow start to the year for DeathList continues to cause concern but surely the drought will end soon.

    3 appearances: 2007 (45), 2006 (47), 1989 (3)
    3rd Death
    Age: 81, Jazz Man, Cause of death: Lung Cancer
  • 13th June 2007

    It's Kurtains!

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    So finally DeathList 2007 gets its second hit of the year and what a pleasing one it was. Kurt Waldheim, former Austrian president, UN General-Secretary and (allegedly) lifelong Nazi, finally ceased his denials at the age of 88. 2007 was Waldheim’s eleventh appearance on DeathList, this year elected in the number 36 slot. So DeathList 2007 is well behind championship pace at this stage, but it’s a marathon and not a sprint and the smart money should be on an exceptional second half to the year.

    11 appearances: 2007 (36), 2006 (31), 2005 (47), 2004 (46), 2003 (38), 2002 (47), 1998 (48), 1997 (34), 1996 (40), 1993 (15), 1990 (12)
    2nd Death
    Age: 89, Nazi, Cause of death: Heart failure
  • 7th March 2007

    Gallo Corks it!

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    Ernest Gallo, veteran Californian wine producer, has squeezed his last grape to give DeathList its first success of the year. 97 year old Gallo has been a near permanent fixture on DeathList in recent years and this year has finally justified his selection in the number 15 slot. A worryingly slow start for DeathList 2007 though…but surely the quality of the selections will shine through sooner or later.

    6 appearances: 2007 (15), 2006 (12), 2005 (15), 2004 (8), 2002 (44), 2001 (18)
    1st Death
    Age: 98, Wine maker, Cause of death: Old Age
  • 1st January 2007

    2007 list ready and waiting

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    DeathList 2007 has been selected with the usual careful consideration and now we wait to see if 2006's end of year momentum can carry on into the new year.