Cultural Icons

It’s been a tough week for entertainment. This week, we lost three of the greatest celebrities within their areas of entertainment: Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.

Being a Generation X’er, Ed McMahon was more famous to me as the host of Star Search rather than Johnny Carson’s sidekick. I didn’t get a chance to always watch Johnny Carson since it was after my bedtime but Star Search came on during primetime. And everyone wanted to be a star!

Can you believe Farrah Fawcett (then Fawcett-Majors, since she was married to the Six Million Dollar Man) was only on Charlie’s Angels for one year with a few guest appearances in the subsequent years. Goes to show you how important that first year can be. I wanted to be an Angel and never thought I couldn’t be. I think it had to do with the cool Mustang with the side strips and the car phone. After Charlie’s Angels and like everyone else, her performance in The Burning Bed blew me away. Talking about a shining a new light on domestic abuse. Maybe a couple of channels should show that movie again, and soon.

And Michael Jackson? What more can I say that hasn’t already been said? I grew up with Motown parents. My mom was a major Four Tops fan. My dad loved The Temptations. I always said it was this division that really caused their divorce. Nevertheless, they did agree on the greatness of Motown and the talent that came out of that company. Luckily for me and my sister, we had a Motown group too — The Jackson 5.

Our record collection consisted of The Jackson 5 and Sesame Street. What a great combination? I knew about ABC, Dancing Machine, Never Can Say Goodbye, I Want You Back, and I’ll Be There.

I feel privileged that I was a fan of Michael Jackson before he became the King of Pop. I was sitting in front of the tv watching MTV when the Thriller video debuted. I knew every dance step for every Michael Jackson video (although I was smart enough not to try that infamous, anti-gravity Smooth Criminal move). And while I will miss him, in spite of the drama that plagued his adult life, I am grateful that he was a significant part of my growing up and so many others in the world.

RIP Ed, Farrah and Michael. And thank you for your contributions to entertainment.

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