The research is complete and DeathList 2012 is off and running. The list is drawn up to comprise the celebrities thought, in the opinion of the DeathList committee, most likely to expire during 2012. The basic rules are that candidates must be famous in their own right such that their death is expected to be reported by the UK media, however they cannot be famous purely for the fact they are likely to expire shortly. Usually a maximum of 25 candidates on the previous year’s list can reappear on the next list. DeathList scores in the last two years have been disappointing. Maybe medical science is progressing at a faster rate than the skills of the committee or maybe 2012 will see a return to form. Time will tell.
|2||Robin Gibb||63||Bee Gee|
|3||Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi||60||Lockerbie Bomber|
|11||Bhumibol Adulyadej||85||King of Thailand|
|12||Zsa Zsa Gabor||95||Actress|
|14||Patty Andrews||94||Last survivor of The Andrews Sisters|
|15||Ray Bradbury||92||Sci-fi author|
|16||Anna Wing||98||Eastenders Lou Beale|
|17||Chapman Pincher||98||Journalist / Investigator|
|18||Yitzhak Shamir||97||Ex PM Israel|
|20||Olivia De Havilland||96||Actress|
|23||General Jaruzelski||89||ex Polish PM|
|24||Margaret Thatcher||87||Milk Snatcher|
|25||Hosni Mubarak||84||Former Egyptian President|
|26||Nigel Lawson||80||UK Politican|
|28||Bill Tarmey||71||Jack Duckworth|
|29||Denis Healey||95||Eyebrowed politican|
|30||Helmut Schmidt||94||Former German Chancellor|
|32||Peter O'Sullevan||94||UK horse racing commentator|
|33||Al Molinaro||93||Happy Days Al|
|34||John Demjanjuk||92||Nazi Collaborator|
|41||Dick van Dyke||87||Actor|
|42||James Randi||84||Magician / Skeptic|
|43||Tariq Aziz||76||Ex-Iraqi Deputy PM|
|44||Muhammad Ali||70||Butterfly / Bee|
|45||Chuck Berry||86||Rock & Roller|
|47||Saif al-Islam Gaddafi||40||Dictator's offspring|
|48||Stephen Hawking||70||Theoretical Physicist|
|49||Ariel Sharon||84||Ex-Israeli Prime Minister|
|50||Clive Dunn||92||DeathList Favourite|
Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer, has finally passed aged 104, to give DeathList 2012 its 12th success. Niemeyer has been the only architect to appear on DeathList but made an epic nine appearances. In 2012 Niemeyer had claimed the number 6 slot.
The question of whether Clive Dunn’s passing would help or hinder DeathList 2012’s progress has been emphatically answered with news of the demise of Bill Tarmey, barely 48 hours after that of Dunn. Tarmey was best known for playing Jack Duckworth in the UK soap opera, Coronation Street. Tarmey was 71 and had been in poor health for many years. This was his second appearance on DeathList, this year being selected at number 28. Tarmey’s death is the eleventh success for DeathList 2012.
Some said it would never happen. Others suggested that little understood laws of the universe meant it was not possible. What is it that has challenged such great minds for so many years? Time travel? Evidence of extra-terrestrial lifeforms? Exceeding the speed of light?? No. In fact, they were contemplating the immortality of Clive Dunn, comedy actor, previously most famous for appearing as Lance Corporal Jones in the 1960's/70’s BBC TV Show, Dad’s Army. Dunn was a hotly tipped selection on the inaugural DeathList of 1987. Over the next 26 years, Dunn became a DeathList legend and went on to make a record-breaking 16 appearances, eventually making the number 50 shirt his own. Finally the “who-blinks-first” competition that has lasted more than a quarter of a century is over with the sad news that 92 year old Dunn has passed away, giving the 2012 list its tenth success. Although unsavoury facts about other 1970’s stars have come to light posthumously, apart from some suspect pop singles in the 70s, we believe Dunn will continue to honour the moniker of “DeathList Favourite” from beyond the grave. “Don’t panic, Mr Mainwaring” was his catchphrase and also the philosophy he clearly employed upon seeing his name chalked up on DeathList year after year. We salute you Clive Dunn and thank you for your immense contribution to DeathList.
Actor, Herbert Lom, most famous for his roles as Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus in the Pink Panther movies has passed away to give DeathList 2012 its ninth score. Lom was born in the Czech Republic but moved to Britain in 1939. He made seven appearances on DeathList, claiming the position number 21 this year.
Veteran singer, Tony Martin, has crooned his last tune to provide DeathList 2012 with a further success. Martin was most active in the 40s and 50s but lived on to ripe old age of 95. Martin was making his third appearance on DeathList, rising up to the number 7 slot this year.
Eric Sykes, British comedian, has passed away to bring DeathList 2012 its seventh score of the year. Sykes was most famous for his British TV work in the 50's, 60's and 70's including his eponymous BBC show with Hattie Jacques and his 1967 film The Plank which co-starred Tommy Cooper. Despite being virtually deaf, in 1997 he was one of the voices in cult TV classic, Teletubbies. Sykes dies after a short illness aged 89. He made six appearances on DeathList, this year at number 39.
Yitzhak Shamir, former Israeli prime minister, has chalked up another score for DeathList 2012. Shamir was a Mossad agent in the 1960s, becoming the seventh Israeli prime minister in 1977. Shamir suffered from Alzheimer's disease for the last decade of his life and passed away aged 96. He is the sixth success for this year's list and appeared nine times on the list, this year in 18th position.
Science fiction author, Ray Bradbury, has passed away, aged 91, to continue DeathList's recent hot streak. Bradbury was best known for his 1953 novel , Fahrenheit 451, about a futuristic world in which books are burned. He also wrote scripts for the Twilight Zone and, later, had his own TV show Ray Bradbury Theater. Bradbury was making his third appearance on DeathList and in 2012 was the number 15 selection. His death is the fifth success of the year and the third in the last 18 days.
Robin Gibb has ended the "will he, won't he" speculation by passing away from cancer aged 62. The co-founder of the Bee Gees becomes the third of the Gibb brothers to die, giving DeathList 2012 its fourth success of the year and the second inside of a one day. His passing has been described as a "Tragedy" and leaves the one remaining Gibb brother being asked by reporters "How Deep is your Bruv?". Gibb was the number 2 selection on this year's list, making his first appearance, and, in a rare event, sees the top three DeathList candidates all passing. On a day when a man who caused much pain and suffering for people throughout the world is taken from us by cancer, it's a little sad to see him steal the headlines of the death of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi.
Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, has finally passed away, giving DeathList 2012 its third success. Expectations of Al Megrahi's demise had been high since he was freed from prison in Scotland on compassionate grounds in 2009 on the basis he was expected to succumb to prostate cancer within weeks or months of release. However, he took the opportunity to take on Ronnie Biggs in a competition to see who could survive the longest after being released by the UK authorities on the basis he was about to die. Megrahi ultimately managed a heroic 2 years and 9 months, even out-surviving Colonel Gaddafi, although Biggs was always going to be a tough competitor. Whether Megrahi was, in fact, actually the Lockerbie bomber continues to be the subject of much debate, but at least his spot on DeathList, this year selected number 3, was never in dispute.
John Demjanjuk , alleged Nazi collaborator, has died to provide DeathList 2012 with its second success of the year. Demjanjuk was born in Ukraine, but after being captured by the Germans in the war, allegedly became a guard at two extermination camps and was suspected of being the infamous "Ivan the Terrible". Demjanjuk was initially tried in Israel, where his conviction was overturned, and then again in Germany where he was convicted of being an accessory to 27,900 murders, for which he was sentenced to 5 year is prison, equivalent to about 1.5 hours detention for every offence. He died aged 91 while awaiting a new trial. Demjanjuk made 5 appearances on DeathList, being selected at number 34 in 2012.
Soul/R&B singer, Etta James, has passed away after battling with leukaemia to put the first score on the board for DeathList 2012. James was most active in the 60's and 70's. Her career was boosted in 1975 as a result of one of her songs being used in a Coke commercial, after a decade of heroin addiction. She was 74 when she died. 2012 was her inaugural appearance on DeathList, with news of her poor condition securing her the top spot.
Will the slump continue or will DeathList 2012 halt it?