Our private loss as public figure dies

August 28th, 2014 7:00 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

First it was Philip Seymour Hoffman, and now, out of nowhere, Robin Williams and Richard Attenborough back-to-back.
There’s something disturbing about these unexpected celebrity deaths, and I’m not sure quite what it is.

It’s not like this is someone intimately involved in your life – maybe you have some fond memories associated with one of their performances – yet it never fails to leave you feeling a bit uneasy.

Is it the corruption of that nostalgic memory of being welcomed to Jurassic Park by Professor John Hammond, or hearing Mrs Doubtfire holler “Helloooooooooooooo?"

It’s almost as if the moment a celebrity dies, the fact that they were a living being in the first place dawns on you for the first time.
All of a sudden Williams ceased to be the kid, genie, transvestite or therapist that we’ve known him to be, and this image became replaced by a much more poignant one: a recovering alcoholic who struggles deeply with depression.

It’s a loss, but not just of the actor himself. It’s a loss of the image you had of him, or the memories of watching his movies – they become overshadowed by the bitter truth that underneath all of those surface smiles and speedy witticisms there was a human being struggling even worse than the rest of us. 

But at the same time, there’s no denying that death gives that one last performance a disturbed appeal. 

Take Heath Ledger for example: would The Dark Knight have achieved quite the same effect if Ledger hadn’t died before the premiere? 

No doubt it was an admirable performance, but perhaps the Joker wouldn’t have been quite as memorable if the audience wasn’t thinking about the fact that they were looking at a man who had recently overdosed on prescription pills.

Perhaps he wouldn’t have won that Oscar back in 2009, which would have put, well, Philip Seymour Hoffman in line. 

I guess we’ll just have to waituntil next year’s award ceremony for that one. 

 

First Siemens invested in the Humber, and now DONG (photo: iStock)
Trading Kingdoms: Continued investment bodes well for UK wind energy sector
Danish energy giant DONG will invest £6bn (60 billion kroner) in the UK of...
This cosy café is perfect for those that want their coffee first
Always first for chocolaty mixes at the cutting edge of coffee
As I entered this little cafe on Gammel Kongevej, there was only one rule: ...
Sometimes drones present danger to public security, for instance, when they get too close to airports (photo: iStock)
Falcon centre on Samsø to train birds of prey to destroy hostile drones
A falcon centre on the Danish island of Samsø is considering training bir...
Pegida was founded in the eastern German city of Dresden in 2014 as a protest against Muslim migrants in Germany (photo: Kalispera Dell)
Five men arrrested in anti-Islam demonstration
Five men were arrested at an anti-Islam demonstration that took place on Ax...
The donations will be divided among 12 Danish non-profit organisations, including CARE Denmark, Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke, Red Barnet, Danish Red Cross and UNICEF Denmark (photo: iStock)
Danes donate almost 100 million kroner to charity campaign
Danes have donated 97 million kroner to a national fundraising campaign org...
People are encouraged to report their observations and any possible findings of a meteorite to ildkugle.dk or stjerneskud.info (photo: H. Raab)
Meteorite hits Denmark
On Saturday night, hundreds of Danes witnessed a spectacular phenomenon as ...