This morning, in the wake of revelations that news organizations had begun putting together obits for some of the harder living young stars, I read a story saying that there was some debate about this practice.
But now the news that the Associated Press has prepared an obituary for 26-year-old Britney Spears has put the spotlight on a debate within the business of reporting death: With people grabbing the celebrity spotlight at a younger age, and some of them living lives of obviously dangerous excess, is it time for news organizations to begin preparing for early exits from celebritydom’s under-30 crowd?
Apparently the answer to that last question is yes. The news just hit that Heath Ledger, who got wide recognition for his role Brokeback
Motion Mountain, was found dead, presumably of a drug overdose. I can’t speak to his talent, since I thought that Brokeback, the only movie in which I’ve seen him in, was a schlock romance that was elevated to meaningful status only because it was a schlock gay romance, rather than a schlock straight romance. However, the death of anyone at 28, especially from something as pointless as a drug overdose, is a tragedy, pure and simple, and I extend my sincerest condolences to his friends and family.
UPDATE: Thanks, EssEm. My typing and proofreading skills are degrading by the minute, although I found this latest typo more amusing than anything else!