Saturday, 24 January 2009

The Best Celebrity Fights to the Death in 2008, Part Four

Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

The fourth and final instalment after the jump!

The Fat Guy and the Hogg

Date: October 8

Who Died: Norman Hogg, Baron Hogg of Cumbernauld FSA Scot, Scottish Labour politician, cancer. José Luis Garza Rodríguez, one of the world's heaviest people, heart failure.

Though weighing 452 kilos, Garza isn’t as interesting as Manuel Uribe Garza, the other morbidly obese Mexican bloke come good who tried to help him lose weight. He used to weigh 520 kilos, now weighs 360 as of October, but continues to lose weight. Dig this wiki entry about his wedding, snip:


After four years together, Uribe, who hadn't left bed for six years, married Solís from his bed. ‘I am proof you can find love in any circumstances. It's all a question of faith. I have a wife and will form a new family and live a happy life’.

He was transported to the civil wedding on his specially-reinforced four-poster bed, draped with cream and gold and adorned in bright sunflowers, on the back of a truck. Donning a white silk shirt with a sheet around his legs he waited to greet Solís as she walked down a flight of stairs wearing a strapless ivory dress and a tiara before 400 guests. Discovery Channel's My Big Fat Mexican Wedding documentary will be the third TV show featuring Uribe.

What Really Happened: Anyway, back to our two fight to the death-ers. Obviously a fight broke out when Norman Hogg misheard Garza's claims that he, himself was the biggest Hogg. Boom boom!

Battle of the ‘Bama Lovers

Date: November 2

Who Died: Terence D. Tolbert, American political operative, Nevada state director for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, heart attack. Madelyn Lee Payne Dunham, maternal grandmother of Obama, cancer.

Born and raised in Harlem, Tolbert’s middle school was named after him in November 2008, as a memorial.

Dunham was a tough cookie. You’d have to be: if a man has the tenacity and intelligence to become president (without his dad paving the way first, of course), then imagine the debates about curfew once puberty hit.

What Really Happened: Two days before the election and stress levels were at an all-time high in the Obama camp. But who loved him most? Tolbert kept claiming it was him, but Dunham, who raised Obama from the age of 10, begged to differ. Tolbert wouldn’t let up, but Dunham was a fan of swift, brutal punishment: after a painful birth she named her only daughter Stanley, for Christ’s sake.

The cruel irony is that they loved him ‘most’ equally, but now they’re both dead, the title goes to a Jamal Greenbaum, a honkey hipster living in Detroit, who will tell you within five minutes of introduction that all his friends are black, after forcing you to partake in a needlessly complex handshake/high five greeting.

The Fallout: A scragfight erupts when 46 meaty but well-groomed thirtysomething women have the same debate about Bill Clinton.

Dictator’s Grandson V Dictator Thief

Date: November 2

Who Died: Domenico Leccisi, Italian politician best known for stealing the corpse of the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini from an unmarked grave, heart and respiratory disease. Joseph Alliluyev, Russian cardiologist, grandson of Joseph Stalin.

What Really Happened: The League of Dictator’s Offspring finally got to Leccisi.

The Fallout: The League of Dictator’s Offspring reveal themselves, and have to beat off the Marvel Comic offers with a two metre replica of Hitler’s only testicle. ‘Come on, it’ll be fun to be a super villain in your very own comic book!’ Stan Lee whines, thinking of his inevitable cameo in the movie version.

Hawaiian Shirts and Child Actors

Date: December 22 and 23

Who Died: Alfred Shaheen, textile industrialist credited with popularising the Hawaiian shirt, complications from diabeties. Manuel Benitez, child actor wanted by the FBI, shot by police.

Shaheen was originally from New Jersey, which might explain his fashion taste. His family moved to Hawaii when he was 16, and at 26 he opened his garment business. By 29, in 1952, his business began silkscreening Polynesian and Asian designs onto silk, cotton, and rayon for Hawaiian shirts and other garments. But the 80s hit his business hard, with their ‘fluro leopard print OR NOTHING’ ideologies. He closed shop in 1988.

Benitez went by the stage name Mark Everett. His roles included parts in Pee Wee's Big Adventure , Galactica 1980 and Highway to Heaven. He’d not done any major acting work since 1988.

He met his girlfriend in 1996, had a child with her and never told her he was a former child actor. To support the family, he did odd jobs, including selling drugs. In 2004 his girlfriend tried to leave him, he tried to abscond with their son while she was asleep. She woke up, they fought, he beat her to death with a dumbbell in front of their three-year-old. He fled, and in 2008 took part in the awesome-sounding El Monte restaurant standoff, which was actually just him locking himself in a restaurant threatening to kill his son, now seven, if the police didn’t leave. It didn’t work out for him. (The son was shot in the thigh, but fine).

What Really Happened: Hawaiian shirts are the staple for fat party guys and precocious Parker-Louis-esque child actors. Think Zac from Saved by the Bell. Perhaps Shaheen was approaching former child actors to bring back the look, and he bumped into Benitez at the El Monte shopping strip. Wrong place, wrong time.

The Fallout: Disney television issues a ban on Hawaiian shirts, fearing that their provocative open-flower designs might give their starlets… ideas.


Date: December 24

Who Died: Ai Iijima, Japanese media personality. Cause of death still unknown: murder, suicide, heart attack and accidental overdose are all possibilities. Christine Maggiore, HIV-positive activist, pneumonia.

Iijima led a troubled early life. She was raped in her early teens, had an abortion, ran away from and made a living working in karaoke establishments, snack bars, Ginza hostess clubs and in enjo kōsai (paid dating).

She entered the entertainment business in her late teens, appearing on late night television programs wearing g-strings, short skirts, and even appearing topless with saline breast implants. Her stage name was chosen by a fan survey. She was also a popular ‘adult film’ actress. Japanese TV is once again proved to be a billion times better than ours. They have topless porn star teens, we have Late Night with Hot Dogs.

Post porn, she released a single and appeared on talk shows. She had her own manga series about time travel. In 2000 she wrote a semi-autobiographical book, Platonic Sex. In 2004 she participated in AIDS awareness campaigns in Tokyo. In 2007, at 34, she retired from showbiz, commenting that she wanted to set up a business marketing condoms to women.

Maggiore founded ‘Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives’, an organization questioning the link between HIV and AIDS. It also supports HIV-positive pregnant women who want to avoid taking anti-HIV medication.

An AIDS denialer, in May 2005 her three-year-old daughter (Eliza Jane) died from a strain of pneumonia stemming from… untreated AIDS.

Via wikipedia:

Consistent with her belief that HIV was harmless, Maggiore had not taken medication to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV to her daughter during pregnancy, and did not have Eliza Jane tested for HIV during her daughter's lifetime.

What Really Happened: A debate about AIDS turned violent… and was more funny in my head before typing it out. Hm. I’m an awful person.

The Fallout: I go outside to look at that rainbow again, but god’s taken them all away until I stop making fun of dead people. DAMN YOU, MIGHTY LORD! YOU’RE POSSIBLY JUST A HUMAN CONSTRUCT BUT STILL SO VENGEFUL!

Bonus! Three things I discovered while researching this article:

1. A lot of Korean Soap stars killed themselves this year. Here are just three.

2. There is a wikipedia entry for the Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz movie, the actors lovingly categorised into ‘Dead’ and ‘Alive’.

3. Some people… think this article is dead serious. The emailer’s text is pasted here in italics, my response in bold:


I have an interest in knowing more about this entry you wrote. Could you tell me more about this Grits Gresham item?

Thank you.

[name withheld]

Sure. What would you like to know?

Thank you for responding.

I am curious about your reference to Alex and Grits and what was meant by: [the ‘What Really Happened’ part of the Grits Vs Wildstein, big cat hunting entry]

What was the 'fatal fight' to which you refer? Was it just your humorous euphemistic linking of the ire of Alex or do you believe there was some actual connection between Grits , Alex and Jocelyn?

Thank you.

It was a joke, I was fairly certain that such a preposterous notion would have been looked upon as such.

Just to clarify, the whole 'fight to the death' angle of the article is obviously fiction, dreamed up by me. You know that, right? Every circumstance in the article was taken from the fact that they died on the same day, that's the only link.

(I didn’t get a response)

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