Scott Hardie | August 7, 2003
After I awakened from a nap, I went to MSNBC.com, which is reporting the deaths of two Hollywood actors today, Peter Fonda and William H. Macy. Now, I've always liked Peter Fonda; "Easy Rider" is one of my favorite movies. But the death that really made me sad was Macy's. I read some industry tributes to him online, all warm, praising his work ethic and his "chameleon-like ability to disappear into character" (there's another one for the Clich├ęs topic). While I was reading, my mom called, and I was trying to explain to her who Macy was. I told her we just saw him in "Seabiscuit," but he was also in "Pleasantville," "Magnolia," "Wag the Dog," "Fargo," and the show "ER," all of which we enjoyed immensely together. She still didn't quite recognize him, but that's kind of normal for my mom; she doesn't have the weird ability of geeks to memorize a list of movie roles for character actors.

Anyway, I got back to reading more tributes, when Matt called to chat. I was surprised to hear Matt knocking the significance of Macy's death, because I thought he'd always been a fan of that actor. It wasn't so much that Macy had died young or that it was front page news, he seemed to take issue with my being so saddened by the event. I told him that it was all right to be sad because someone famous died, if you liked that person. He said that I never met Macy; what, was I going to go to his funeral? I replied that no, of course not, but I still really, really liked Macy, even if I just realized the full extent of it now upon his death. Sure I'd never met him, but he seemed like a kind, warm human being, and in the countless different characters he'd made so interesting, he had endeared himself to me. I asked Matt, there's nothing wrong with that, is there? Anyway, at that point, the cat started licking my hand, and I woke up. I wasn't on the phone, I wasn't at MSNBC.com, William H. Macy and Peter Fonda had not died, and I was left thinking of the question I had just posed.

The crowds of mourners who show up to celebrity funerals, like the big one for Bob Hope two weeks ago, have always seemed just a tiny bit silly to me. How can you feel so much grief over someone you don't know personally? Is it healthy to be saddened by the death of someone you never met? While I guess I'm just not the funeral-going type (ask my brother), I came to understand the legitimacy of such feelings of loss by this dream. I've never met Mike Eberhart or Erik Bates, but I'd feel sad to learn that they died. I've never met Grady Tripp or Jean-Luc Picard, but to read/watch their death scenes would also cause a bit of grief. Why should celebrities be any different?

So, like I always ask about this time, what do you think?

Lori Lancaster | August 8, 2003
[hidden by request]

Dave Stoppenhagen | August 8, 2003
When I die, I want amazing grace played on the bag pipes. For the record though when someone dies that you have watched over the years in Movies/TV or you know them personally you form an attachment and it is appropriate to mourn the loss. Look at when Kirk Cobain killed himself, Jim Morrison died and Jerry Garcia OD'd/died people the world over mourned their loss, mostly because they felt these people had an impact or made an impression on their lives.

Anna Gregoline | August 8, 2003
What? William H. Macy died? Where, why? Help me out here, I can't find out any information.

Lori Lancaster | August 8, 2003
[hidden by request]

Dave Stoppenhagen | August 8, 2003
Have you ever heard it played on the bag pipes, it sounds awesome and one of those times I get a shiver up my spine when I hear it. But who knows they may play the song "Today" by the Smashing Pumpkins for all I know.

Anthony Lewis | August 9, 2003
Wow. I had no idea that he died. I've been so caught up in my life, and watching "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy". Sad.
I used to watch "Maude" all the time.Oh...that was BILL Macy. (Pitiful attempt at humor)Seriously...he was a fine actor. He'll be missed.

Anthony Lewis | August 9, 2003
Whoopsie. My bad.
I don't read too good. You know...lead paint was tasty when I was a child. :-)


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