Brittany Murphy and Hossein Ali Montazeri


Brittany Murphy died Sunday. So did Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. If, as many people suggest, famous deaths happen in threes, who could possibly be next? This isn’t exactly Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett material. One, Murphy, was a 32-year-old Grade-B actress whose career high was probably playing Eminem’s love interest in the eternally underrated Eight Mile. The other, Montazeri, was the 87-year-old founding father of Iran’s Islamic revolutionary movement. Logic dictates that No. 3 would have to fall squarely in the middle of Murphy and Montazeri—which means he/she/it needs to be 59-years-old, famous only in his/her/it’s own country.

So I went to this website, which lists famous births from 1950. Oddly, the first two people listed are Morgan Fisher, keyboardist for British Lions and Svetlana Georgievna Beregovkina, a Russian cosmonaut. One could argue that Fisher, he of the moderately successful rock band, is a Murphy equivalent, and that in Europe Beregovkina is the Middle Eastern equal (fame-wise) of Montazeri. There’s also Lou Gramm, Erin Gray, Ross Grimsley, Buster Poindexter and Damo Suzuki, the Japanese singer famous, I’m guessing, for something.

Not that I’m rooting for anyone to die. I’m certainly not. I recall being 22 or 23, working in Nashville and participating in a disgusting “death pool”—Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope and the Pope were wildly popular selections. Truth be told, I’m fascinated by the coverage of Murphy’s death, in that—while it’s certainly tragic and sad—she doesn’t exactly carry the world’s weight of a man who literally spearheaded a revolution. Yet here in America, where brains are numbed, stuffed with Twinkies and refrigerated, coverage of Murphy’s passing is big news. People always say, “Oh, how tragic,” but they generally are more riveted than saddened. Especially when someone is 32, and people mention “drugs” and “anorexia” and the like.

Once again, I’m babbling.