Samuel L. Jackson should be extra careful this week

Pax Arcana

Celebrity deaths famously come in threes — such as this past winter when Heath Ledger, Brad Renfro, and Susanne Pleshette all expired within days of each other. Or in 1922, when celebrities Artie McCall, Mortimer “Slappy” Beefschatz, and Muley Molansky all perished from excessive marijuana smoking at a flapper party.

OK I made that last one up. But the point remains — celebrities die off in threes, and we’ve already lost two in the past three days. On Saturday, comedian and underrated actor Bernie Mac died of complications from pneumonia. Yesterday, legendary soul singer Isaac Hayes was found dead, presumably of a heart attack.

Both are great losses. Both men were pioneers who were still doing solid work.

I’m not saying I have any inside information about whose death is on the slate to complete the trifecta, but if I were Samuel L. Jackson, I’d avoid base jumping for a while. Here’s why, from the Times’ obituary on Hayes:

Hayes was about to begin work on a new album for Stax, the soul record label he helped build to legendary status. And he had recently finished work on a movie called ”Soul Men” in which he played himself, starring Samuel Jackson and Bernie Mac, who died on Saturday.

Abe Vigoda is still the favorite, obviously, but things don’t look good for Sam.

Isaac Hayes, Deep-Voiced Soul Icon, Is Dead at 65 [NYT]
Bernie Mac, Comic From TV and Film, Is Dead at 50 [NYT]

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