What celebrities owe their career to another celebrity dropping dead?
I still say Leonardo DiCaprio owes his career to River Phoenix dropping dead. Only four years apart in age, River drops dead at 23 in 1993 and Leo explodes onto the scene at 19 in What's eating Gilbert Grape and This Boy's Life in the same year. He filled the void of the brooding blond heartthrob.
Now I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt owes his career to Heath Ledger dropping dead. These two are two years apart and even slightly resemble each other. Ledger drops dead in 2008 and JGL's career takes off with 500 days of Summer and GI Joe the following year.
Can anyone else think of a celeb who owes their career to another celeb dropping dead?
Jennifer Lopez owes her career to the death of Selena Quintanilla Perez.
Dianne Fienstein owes her political career to Harvey Milk being assasinated. Is she a celeb?
He would have been the Clint Howard/Frank Stallone/Don Swayze of the Belushi brothers but he capitalized on John's name recognition and somehow people let him.
Paul Newman wouldn't have had a career if James Dean had lived.
I'd have Matt Damon's career if he died!
Corey "I really said this" Feldman
Totally agree about Dicaprio.
I agree about DiCaprio.
Woody Harrelson and the guy who played Coach
Emma Stone and LiLo's soul
If Aaliyah had lived, Beyonce would be "that chubby girl who was in Destiny's Child"
Betty White. Would she be America's geriatric sweetheart if Bea Arthur hadn't died?
Anyone who saw DiCaprio in WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE should recognize that his "explosion" onto the scene was independent of River Phoenix not being around. DICaprio's bravura performance was both distinctive and completely outside Phoenix's sphere, whatever intersections later seemed present. DiCaprio's timing was later, Phoenix never could carry off the range, and there was no replacement in parts. What? They both could whimper? Silly "observation."
Levitt? Where is the OP pulling this out of?
If Paul Newman is true with James Dean, you'd better throw in Steve McQueen even more so.
Belushi is very true.
In film, in some ways, and in Bacall's bed, Jason Robards for Bogart.
What about on Broadway? Did anyone ever drop dead and therefore let somebody else get the role?
I guess they count as celebrities...
Nobody would know who Jesse Jackson is if he wasn't in Memphis when MLK got shot. He's been living off of "I was there" ever since.
"Now I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt owes his career to Heath Ledger dropping dead. These two are two years apart and even slightly resemble each other. Ledger drops dead in 2008 and JGL's career takes off with 500 days of Summer and GI Joe the following year."
Heath would not have done 500 Days of Summer. More likely, he would have done Blue Valentine,, instead of Ryan Gosling, especially with playing against Michelle. Heath would have also been competiting with Jake G for roles.
[quote]Jennifer Lopez owes her career to the death of Selena Quintanilla Perez.
So true. At the time of her death at 23, Selena was already an established Latin star but was on the brink of breaking into the mainstream, was dabbling in acting roles, and had her own fashion line (her first love) and several boutiques. After J.Lo hit it big with the movie "Selena" she said she was inspired to go into the recording studio, which is how her music career came about. She also started her own clothing line. It was like she was living Selena's dream.
Factoid: When Selena's mother was pregnant with her, her parents had decided on the name "Mark Anthony" if she were a boy. Of course, J.Lo later married the singer Mark Anthony.
George Burns. He was always an "also-ran" and a loser compared to Gracie Allen.
Then Jack Benny got the part in the Sunshine Boys and got pancake cancer. As he was dying he told them to use his "best friend" George Burns. (They were lovers you know).
George got the part, won an Oscar and his solo career took off.
If Benny had lived, George would only be remembered as Gracie Allen's husband.
WTF is pancake cancer?
"Paul Newman wouldn't have had a career if James Dean had lived."
I disagree, although I do think that Newman's career would have got off to a slower start if Dean had lived. But I've said before that Dean's career would have fallen apart in the sixties, as Newman was hitting his prime.
I think they meant "pancreatic cancer", R21, but Autocorrect got the best of them. Either way, it cracked me up.
R19, I wish Selena had lived only because she worshiped the vastly more talented Donna Summer, and might've helped revived her career. Preventing the rise of JLo would've been icing on the cake.
29, you're goofy. Benny and Burns were both cast - then Burns had a heart attack, and they waited for him. By the time he was well, Benny was on the way out (it happened quickly) and Matthau stepped in.
no r25......r20 had it right.
I think Rihanna owes her career to Aaliyah's untimely death as well.
Ugh R14. I though DiCaprio was TERRIBLE in Gilbert Grape anyway. He totally overacted just because he was playing a retarded person. He was very much a "movie retard" - cute and blonde and wildly overacting, i.e., nothing like real life.
Aaliyah's death was timely. She sucked, and if she had lived, she would've faded by the time Rihanna had her first hit 4 yrs later.
Actually no, R29. She would've continued to innovate R&B, electronic and dance music with Timbaland and Missy Elliot and they all would've prospered.
[quote]WTF is pancake cancer?
It's when Eddie "Rochester" Anderson colludes with Aunt Jemima to take deadly revenge after decades of racial stereotyping. Rochester would have poisoned Benny's Jell-O, but in real life Jack never ate that shit.
Sandra Gould is famous primarily as Gladys Kravitz on BEWITCHED - a role she landed after the original Gladys, Alice Pearce, died of cancer.
When THE KING & I opened on Broadway, Gertrude Lawrence was the only member of the cast to receive star billing. In other words, her name alone appeared above the title. The show made new-comer Yul Brynner a star in all but billing. Then Gertrude Lawrence fell ill with cancer and died. The producers were able to put Yul Brynner's name above the title without blinking an eye because people were eagerly buying tickets to see him anyway. So he became a star in the literal show business sense owing entirely to Gertrude Lawrence's death.
How long was Gertrude Lawrence in the show? Did it run much longer after her death?
Pancake cancer is so tragic. Everyone suffers. The eggs, bacon ... even the waffles take it hard.
R34, THE KING AND I opened on March 29, 1951 and closed on March 20, 1954. Gertrude Lawrence left the cast in August of 1952 and died on Sept. 5, 1952. Constance Carpenter, her understudy, succeeded her in the role. I believe Yul Brynner remained with the show for its entire Broadway run and probably toured in too before making the movie.
Ethel Merman's daughter-in-law, Barbara Colby, was shot and killed with a friend of hers while she was a cast member of the "Phyllis" spin-off from Mary Tyler Moore.
Barbara's character was then recast with an up and coming Liz Torres who went on to have a pretty decent career of her own.
Does that count?
Ronald Reagan got his break in film due to the death of another actor at Warners.
Thanks r36.....wow she died just a few weeks after she left the show. I wonder how she lasted in it so long.
As usual, pedantic DL-ers are stretching credibility. Changing Yul Brynner's billing did not make him a star, his performance in The King and I did. The fact that Lawrence, a huge stage star of the time, commanded top billing did nothing to eclipse the ascendance of Brynner's career. To pretend that these two were even in competition is ridiculous, especially since one was at the end of her life and the other, a man, went on to play that role continuously until he died several decades later.
And who the fuck is Liz Torres? Or Barbara Colby? Get a clue: when actors die, they have to be replaced. Duh. It doesn't make their replacement a star nor in this instance the actress who was originally cast.
I can't believe how desperate some people are to play.
STFU R40. Nobody likes you. Nobody.
I guess I have been put wise by r40. I love being bitched out by people who use "duh" in a reply. So witty and wise. I'm surprised he didn't use "Uhmmm" at some point.
Oh and what r41 said.
R23, At first when I read it, I figured pancake cancer was what you got in the old days when stage makeup (aka pancake makeup) had lead in it or something. LOL! But your explanation makes more sense.
Well, once the maple syrup metastisizes, it's off to the big IHOP in the sky for you!
When she died, Gertrude Lawrence was buried in the ball gown from "Shall We Dance?"
And r40 is proud to be stupid
"Gertrude Lawrence left the cast in August of 1952 and died on Sept. 5, 1952"
Did she die of pancake cancer?
Agree with OP about both, especially about DiCaprio. I even remember thinking it at the time - "the new River Phoenix."
[quote]If Aaliyah had lived, Beyonce would be "that chubby girl who was in Destiny's Child"
That's why the Illuminati had Aaliyah killed, because they knew that she was standing in the way of Beyonce's success, dontcha know?
Camilla Parker Bowles
[quote]I love being bitched out by people who use "duh" in a reply.
Have you noticed that when someone begins their reply with "Uh," they're usually wrong? "Uh," is usually a signal that says, "Moron posting."
Bette Davis dies in 1989.
Jessica Tandy wins Best Actress Oscar for Driving Miss Daisy, becomes America's geriatric sweetheart.
Coincidence ? I don't think so.
It's better if they just go a little blind.
Quite a few female R&B singers from 2000 onward owe their careers to the tragic demise of Aaliyah. She was a one-of-a-kind sonic innovator. Without her, we were subjected to the likes of Ashanti, Nivea and Ciara (who, admittedly was the most talented of that lot).
Jessica Tandy is not dead. She wunk at me at the corner of Park and 10th. She is not dead.
Jayne Mansfield became a megastar after the death of MM.
I've often thought about DiCaprio and Phoenix. I wouldn't go as far as you, OP, in attributing DiCaprio's rise to Phoenix's death, but certainly there is some degree of correspondence.
I'm a huge Aaliyah fan but honestly, her last album and singles didn't do well until after her death. It's hard to say if her recording career would have rebounded, or if she would have faded away like Brandy and Monica. I had the impression Aaliyah was going to become more of an actress as time went on.
Kurt Cobain > Cortney Love
Kurt Cobain > Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters)
Ledger and Gordon-Levitt did not resemble each other at all and would not have been in competition for the same roles. Absolutely ridiculous theorem.
r54, of course if you had basic reading skills, you'd see that Bette Davis is the one who died paving the way for Jessica Tandy.
Jennifer Hudson and Whitney Houston (yes, Oscar blah blah; just look how Hudson is everywhere now: the "new" Whitney).
"Marc" Anthony, not "Mark."
Troy Donahue....Brandon de Wilde.
Mick Jagger....Brian Jones.
Wonder if The Kardashians would have the careers they do today if Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman had not been murdered?
[quote]Jessica Tandy is not dead. She wunk at me at the corner of Park and 10th. She is not dead.
It sort of ruins the joke and calls you out as a fly-over Queen that Park and 10th do not intersect in NYC, Miss Tandy's home city. Park Ave. (South) runs north starting at 23rd Street, and does not officially become Park Ave. until 34th Street.
Pope John Paul II
Second Emma Stone and Lindsay Lohan's self-destruction.
Kathy Selden wouldn't be a star if silent movies hadn't died
Oh, Jeebus help me .....I love pancakes .... plese let it skip me, please let it skip me ....
Other posters are right about you, R40. You are not only stupid but belligerently and proudly stupid.
Spot on R20.
Jack Benny and George Burns were lovers?
That's a whole lot of ugly to deal with there...
Shane Klingensmith owes his success to the untimely death of Bob Hope.
I thought Ledger and Gordon-Levitt were pretty well-cast as brothers in Ten Things I Hate About You! I remember seeing nerd speculation that JGL would take over the Joker role in TDKR and, I mean, I didn't believe it but I could see where they were coming from.
As another poster said, Michelle Williams. In fact, she is the owner of this thread. I gag whenever I read an article about her, because they tout her as some sort of survivor. Truth is, she wasn't even romantically involved with Ledger by the time he killed himself. I was sure she was going to get a sympathy Oscar.
JGL and Ledger weren't playing brothers in Ten Things...
Michelle already had a solid career by the time Heath died.
Haha, r75, I never got around to seeing it and just assumed!
Disagree about Paul Newman, R5. He seemed laid back, but he was very driven.
R73, they didn't play brothers, but both dated sisters in the film.
I just don't like Michelle Williams and I hate to see her in any film.
I thought Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Julia Stiles all looked rather similar. They could've played siblings. It was especially weird in this movie 'cause Julia and Heath were supposed to be love interests.
R80 _ Why don't you like MW?
Jayne Mansfield did NOT become a "huge star after MM died." Her stardom came about squarely during Marilyn's heyday. Jayne starred in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter in 1956, both the stage and film versions. She was known as the "Working Man's Monroe." She was around at the same time as Monroe. By the time Marilyn died, Mansfield's star had considerably dimmed and she resorted to nude photo spreads and cheap sexploitation films. And a nightclub act that she travelled around. Monroe's death did not give a boost to her popularity. Mansfield was already on the downhill slide, considered little more than a punchline and a leftover remnant from a bygone era. She and Marilyn both were battling that fate, actually, by 1962.
R62 You make a very good point that I've never though of before.
Without their sleezy father and his arrogant racist partner exploiting racial tensions to allow a double-murderer to walk free, it's highly unlikely that the name "Kardashian" would be stinking up the world right now.
"What a country!" Where else could a celebrity double murder lead to a family of whores becoming filthy rich and famous?
Not Biggie Smalls and Jay Z, more like Biggie Smalls and kayne west. That is a more fitting example. Or Biggie and puffy.
But if he were around then kayne whack wouldn't be running around claming he's so great and wonderful. Nor would he dare mention anything about a throne again.
Lisa "Lefteye" Lopes definitely left a void. TLC made a comeback and Lisa had a solo album in the works but her death hindered that. Lisa's fun and whacky rap style paved the way for someone like Nicki Minaj, who is a fusion of Lisa, Missy Elliot and Lil' Kim.
Freddie Prinze Sr.'s death definitely helped up and coming comics at the time. He had just signed a huge deal when he killed himself. I think he would have continued through the 80s as 1 of the premier young comedy guns.
I agree with whoever said that Heath Ledger would have been going for Ryan Gosling's roles rather than JGL's. However I still think Ryan Gosling would be a popular as he is if Heath hadn't died. Perhaps people like Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender fill the space Heath left?
Olivia Newton-John owes her career to Janis Joplin dropping dead.
I can't believe no-one has mentioned the fact that Catherine Zeta Spartacus Jones owes her Tony to Natasha Richardson dropping dead.
"pancake cancer". OMG that cracked me up. That should be on the list of favorites DL posts.
R63 = idiot newbie
Trying learning the in-jokes and reading before you start posting, you moron. Or better yet go back to HuffPo.
Ciara, ashanti, maybe Beyoncé owe their career to the death of Aaliyah
Why did Pancake Cancer not join Cak and Graxy in the Datalounge Dictionary?
[quote]Dianne F[ei]nstein owes her political career to Harvey Milk being assas[s]inated.
It was the assassination of George Moscone that accelerated her political career. Moscone was Mayor of San Francisco & Milk was a member of the Board of Supervisors -- they were assassinated by Dan White on the same day, & Feinstein (Pres. of the Board of Supervisors) automatically succeeded Moscone as Mayor.
Why do you say that, r89?
One could argue things looked good for Richard Nixon after Bobby Kennedy was killed.
First of all, I thoroughly disagree about DiCaprio. Indiana Jones and the River Phoenix was one of the wormiest, sorriest creeps Hollywood ever tried to shove on the moviegoing public.
Ronald Reagan got his start at Warner Brothers because Ross Alexander had committed suicide. Alexander did it because he was threatened with outing.
Tap tap tap. I'm a very patient lady.
JOEY IF YOU DON'T DROP THE BEDAZZLER AND THE CAT I AM GOING TO BEDAZZLE YOUR ASS FROM HERE TO NEXT WEEK!
[R12] I thought this initially, but Beyonce still would've hit it out of the park with "Crazy In Love", a horn-heavy uptempo number that was nowhere near Aaliyah's vibe.
I think Ashanti more so fit the slot Aaliyah had left, so she wouldn't have come and gone instead.