The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Three more stars in the sky
It started with the death of Ed McMahon*, the booming-voiced co-host of the Tonight Show for 30 years. Ed lived to a good old age and had a life that was never stagnant. He co-hosted several successful television shows as well as the Jerry Lewis Telethon. Ed was the quintessential television Emcee. I never saw Ed on television without a smile, and Ed had a great smile. He knew how to play to an audience and knew how to take advantage of the camera. He had six children, one of whom died from cancer at the age of 44.

With the passing of Ed, so passes the golden age of television, in my opinion. There aren't too many more of his generation still left active in "the business." Ed McMahon was a staple of my night time television-viewing life in one form or another for as long as I can remember.

And then, today, two more losses: Farrah Fawcett* and Michael Jackson*.

When I was growing up in the 1970's, Charlie's Angels was all the rage. I used to love to watch it. I can't describe any of the episodes now, but I do remember Jill Munroe. Every girl at school wanted the Farrah Fawcett hairdo. Farrah was all about the hair. Unfortunately, the hairdressers in town did not know how to do "good" Farrah hairdos. Some of my friends wound up with what can only be described as "wings," sticking out the side of their heads, versus the tousled layers that was Farrah's hairstyle.

Farrah really didn't get taken seriously as an actress until years after Charlie's Angels, when she filmed The Burning Bed and starred in the Broadway play, Extremities. I read the book The Burning Bed and it saddened me so much that I couldn't bring myself to watch the movie. I might go and see if I can watch it online tonight, though - in honor of Ms Fawcett.

Her longtime companion, Ryan O'Neal, never got to realize his dream of marrying Farrah, but they had a son together, and there's no doubt in my mind that they loved each other. It's sad that she died before she could say "I do," but there's no rhyme nor reason to life sometimes, is there?

And then Michael Jackson, who was only a year and a half older than I. I think that's what bothers me the most about his death - how relatively young he was when he died, although I am already seven years older than my father was when he died.

I enjoyed Michael's music growing up. He was a great foil to Donny Osmond - both teen heartthrobs in the 70's. When I first heard One Bad Apple, I thought it was by the Jackson Five. The music produced by those two guys, Michael and Donny, colored my entire adolescence. One of the most romantic songs I ever danced to, was I'll Be There.

When my kids were little, Michael became known as "The King of Pop." He dominated MTV. We went out and bought Thriller, and sang Billie Jean on hikes through our local state park. Michael was riding high all through the 80's and into the 90's, and then something happened. I think that Michael just lost his grip on reality. I found out from people who worked with him, that he was surrounded by enablers - people who were willing to give him godlike status. What I think he really needed was someone to keep him grounded, but if it ever happened, I never read or heard about it. I prefer to remember the Michael Jackson of the 70's and 80's.

So, rest in peace, Michael. You died too young.

Tonight, there are three more stars in the sky.

* All photos are the property of Associated Press. They are used for commentary purposes only.


posted by Melanie O. at 4:17 PM -
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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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