www.deadoraliveinfo.comQuick, which of these celebrities is still alive -- former TV-show host Art Linkletter, ex-President Gerald Ford or band leader Mitch Miller? Visit the Dead or Alive? site, and you'll see that it's a trick question: All of them, in their 90s, are alive (as of this writing late last week). The Web site tracks the heart-beating status of nearly 7,500 celebrities and guarantees $10 to any visitor who finds a celebrity on its over-85 list whose info is more than three days out of date.
deadpool.rotten.comAfter registering at Rotten Dead Pool (it's free), you can compile a list of 10 celebrities you think will die in the next 12 months. Get the most right, and you win. A new game starts every month. Among the extensive rules of play is this cheeky reminder: "Death is defined as the permanent, irreversible condition of croakitude. Transient deathlike states need not apply. (Cryogenic suspension notwithstanding.)" The famous people mentioned most in the site's dead pools are, in order, Billy Graham, Jerry Lewis and Osama bin Laden.
www.findadeath.comWhen a celebrity dies, Findadeath will soon be there with a detailed write-up of how it happened, especially if it was unusual. Many accounts include reproductions of the death certificate and photos of relevant locales, as well as follow-up comments by visitors to the site who have details to add. More than 300 celebrities are listed, but there are some omissions, such as Marilyn Monroe. You'll find her and a few dozen others, mostly historical figures, listed at Celebrity Morgue (www.celebritymorgue.com), which often includes graphic photos of the death scene. Needless to say, some people might find the content objectionable at either site, especially the latter, which includes links to porn sites.
Brain Candy's Dying Words site compiles "the last words spoken by famous people at death, or shortly before," including famous suicide notes and comments by criminals at execution. Some are tragic, considering the circumstances, such as Diana, Princess of Wales, saying, "My God. What's happened?" before dying after a horrible car accident in Paris in 1997. Others elicit a smile amid the sadness, such as comedian Lou Costello's "That was the best ice-cream soda I ever tasted" in 1959 and Bing Crosby's "That was a great game of golf, fellers" in 1977.
-- Randy A. Salas, Minneapolis Star Tribune