Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Dead Famous People I Wish Were Still Alive

I don’t mean in a Living Dead or Monkey’s Paw sort of way of course. For all of us there have been people of notoriety in their field that touched us with their work or art. Often we feel that people with brilliant talent always die too soon and although we don’t know them, we miss them. Here is my list of 10 Dead Famous People that I Wish Were Still Alive:

10. Leonardo DaVinci: In addition to his incredible artistic talent (see ceiling, Sistine Chapel and David statue, which I posed for) he also had drawn up plans for a variety of flying machines. If he were still alive we’d have flying cars and jet packs already.

download (21)

9. Russell Johnson as The Professor: Another brilliant inventor, but it’s his sunny disposition I miss most. Despite being marooned with a bunch of dolts who were no help with his efforts to get them off the island he never stopped trying to build radios out of coconuts and cars out of bamboo. The world needs more Professors like that.

8. Robin Williams: He could make anything funny. A truly brilliant shining talent. Read my Robin Williams Ten Best Roles post.

7. Stuart Scott, ESPN anchor: He livened up the sports news by saying things  like a player was as smooth as “straight butter” and under pressure a player might be “cooler than the other side of the pillow.” His reporting was peppered with old phrases used in new ways and new phrases you had never heard before but you knew immediately how clever they were. Whether you were a sports fan or not, Stuart was a poet who passed away too soon for his fans and his family.


6. Theodor Seuss Geisel: Better known as Dr. Seuss. He created rap before rapping was cool. Go ahead, read any of his books to a rap cadence. It’s hilarious and it works. His ridiculous rhymes and imagination spawned so many memorable characters. There’s been no one like him since. For a public speaking class in college I read a Dr. Seuss book dramatically. It was awesome. Especially my mic drop at the end. I still own a Cat in the Hat tie.

5. Steve Jobs: Read my ode to Steve Jobs, the obsessive, intense creative mind behind the rise of Apple,  Willy Wonka for the iGeneration which I penned in 2011 shortly after his passing. Were he still alive our iPhones would also dispense Doritos. (Seriously, click the link and go read it. I’m pretty proud of that piece. It didn’t even get a single like. I had no followers back then)

4. Len Bias: One of the ultimate “what might have been” people. When I was a kid he was a sublimely talented collegiate basketball player for the University of Maryland who I thoroughly enjoyed watching. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics and two days later died of a cocaine overdose at 22 years of age. He had all the talent in the world and a bright future that I was looking forward to watching.

3. Windell MIddlebrooks: His passing may not have made headlines, but Hollywood will miss him. The consummate character actor, he was in a million things you’ve seen and have never known his name. He’s one of those actors where you see him and say, Oh, that guy. I’ve seen him in stuff before. Not everyone can be a star. The world needs character actors, which is what most of us really are. Rest in Peace Windell we will miss you,

download (22)

2. Ernest Hemmingway: He was the first rock star author out partying with the debutantes in Paris, and his books totally rocked. I remember reading The Old Man and the Sea in one sitting.

download (23)

1. Shannon Hoon: Lead singer of the band Blind Melon. That’s not him in the bumblebee suit. I liked their two CD’s in the 90’s and was disappointed that I’d hear their music no more after his death in 1995. Shannon was not my favorite musician ever, but for this list he can serve as a representative for all the musicians who have perished too soon.

So who is your favorite dead famous person that you wish was still around doing what they did? Have a great Tuesday and stay alive. Just like Tinkerbell, every “Like” click I get on my blog is like a clap that keeps me alive.

41 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Dead Famous People I Wish Were Still Alive

  1. It’s nice to know there are other Blind Melon fans. I still listen to their self-titled album regularly.

    Great list!

  2. Nikola Tesla? He basically invented electricity, radio communication (which WiFi is a derivative of) and then died.

  3. Mark Twain. For “Life On the Mississippi”. And all the rest.

    Phil, your number 10 cracked me up. No one else called you out on your tongue-in-cheek Michelangelo/Leonardo mashup, but I will: No Ninja turtle mixing when issuing homages! Both geniuses deserve their own props!

  4. I tell you if I had my way
    The Dead at 27 club, if for just a day.

  5. Hunter Thompson
    James Garner
    Mel Blanc/Chuck Jones

    Way, way, way too many musicians to name. You are right about that. Rock ‘n’ roll heaven must have a helluva band 😀

  6. A great mind, a Renaissance Man, definitely DaVinci. I’d love to listen to his thoughts and suggestions for our current world.

  7. You’ve got me thinking: my little sister who died at 18, Alan Coren, Roy Kinnear, Peter Cook for starters.

  8. Great top 10 list … it has Dr Seuss in it 🙂
    You’re right about the possibility of a very long list of just musicians. Shannon Hoon for you is like Freddie Mercury for me.

  9. I would say Michael Jackson or Princess Diana but I’m convinced they are still alive lol

  10. Totally agree with your choices. I would add Humphrey Bogart.

  11. Sometimes, you don’t understand the impact of something you aren’t even looking at, until it is not there any more, and then it suddenly goes and leaves a hole in your awareness.

    There have been a few of those in less than a year, which have really hit me surprisingly hard; Rik Mayall, Robin Williams ( ) and Terry Pratchett ( ).

    I never thought I really gave a shit…until I was curled up in a ball, sobbing, appreciating that they weren’t here any more. They made a difference.

    • I agree. We spend years enjoying and appreciating the talents of a stranger never realizing the impact they have upon us until we lose them. I was going to put Terry Pratchett on the list but felt I had given him his due with his own post last Friday.

  12. Blind Melon was a great band, nice guys.
    I too miss The Rockford Files (we had a Canadian version, Newfoundland Rockford Files aka Republic of Doyle but it’s gone as well). I liked James Garner, Robin Williams and Dr. Seuss as well…also…Bogie, Cary Grant, Ghandhi, Heath Ledger, Elvis, George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Dorothy Parker, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Leonard Nimoy, Doris Day, Don Pardo, Madeline Kahn, River Phoenix, Sam Cooke, John Belushi, MLK, ok, this list is too long, sorry…Enjoyed the post, thanks. 🙂

  13. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday! The Top Ten Top Ten Lists | The Phil Factor

Leave a Reply