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AdSweaty8557 t1_jbnpqe5 wrote

He actually had a heart attack on set when he passed. People thought to was a comical bit, but it really was the big one Elizabeth. True story


TIGHazard t1_jbo81np wrote

Same with UK comedian Tommy Cooper. Except this was on live TV :(

> On 15 April 1984, Cooper collapsed from a heart attack in front of 12 million viewers, midway through his act on the London Weekend Television variety show Live from Her Majesty's, transmitted live from Her Majesty's Theatre in Westminster, London. An assistant had helped him put on a cloak for his sketch, while Jimmy Tarbuck, the host, was hiding behind the stage curtains waiting to pass him different props that he would then appear to pull from inside his gown. His last words seemed to be "Thank you, love," to the assistant seconds before collapsing. The assistant smiled at him as he slumped down, believing that it was part of the act. Likewise, the audience laughed as he fell backwards.

> As Cooper lay dying on the floor, the audience continued to laugh at him believing it was part of an act. Cooper then began snorting and snoring, and died after. Around this time, Jimmy Tarbuck, Alasdair MacMillan (the director of the television production), and the crew behind the curtain who witnessed the incident realised that what was happening to him was not part of the act.

> After realising what had happened, Alasdair MacMillan cued the orchestra to play music for an unscripted commercial break (noticeable because of several seconds of blank screen while LWT's master control contacted regional stations to start transmitting advertisements) and Tarbuck's manager tried to pull Cooper back through the curtains.

> It was decided to continue with the show. Dustin Gee and Les Dennis were the act that had to follow Cooper, and other stars proceeded to present their acts in the limited space in front of the curtains. While the show continued, efforts were being made backstage to revive Cooper. It was not until a second commercial break that paramedics moved his body to Westminster Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. His death was not officially reported until the next morning, although the incident was the leading item on the news programme that followed the show.


starmartyr t1_jbp55p9 wrote

In 1971 on an episode of the Dick Cavett show, the guest was Jerome Rodale. Rodale was a health guru who claimed he was going to live to 100. During the interview, Rodale slumped back in his chair and made a snoring sound. Cavett allegedly quipped "are we boring you Mr. Rodale" only to find out shortly afterward that he was dead. The episode never aired and the tape has never been made public.


palordrolap t1_jbo8fzz wrote

Had to look that up. Awful way to go.

At least it wasn't live on TV like Britain's Tommy Cooper. People also thought that was an unscripted bit. Until they realised that it very much wasn't.

Faking heart attacks, at least not to that degree, wasn't even one of his bits, unlike Foxx.

Being messed around by the production crew to the point of annoyance definitely won't have helped in Foxx's case. It's probably what pushed him over the edge. It might not be live on TV but it's still no way to go.

Regarding Cooper: Don't go looking for the video of his collapse if you don't want to feel sad. Go looking for other videos. Very funny man.


TimmJimmGrimm t1_jbrbtij wrote

Let me be the asshole and say... is it such a bad way to go?

Rather than be one of those kids blown up in the sky in WW2, or someone slaughtered by advancing fanatics of whatever nationality, this guy got to go out with a laugh from adoring fans. Or slowly dying of some disease in your tweens, like meningitis before 1941.

Too soon? Yes. For sure. Most people like the idea of dying at 88 years of age or so. But a bad way to go? Please, let us agree to disagree.


AlabasterPelican t1_jbo3ojv wrote

Jesus, I can't imagine being on duty in the ER when Fred Sanford rolls in with a heart attack.


Frurry t1_jbo7d11 wrote

same with Tommy Cooper, live on tv, everyone thought it was just a gag


JJohnston015 t1_jbomyb6 wrote

Happened to Dick Shawn, too. His magnum opus was as Sylvester in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World".


benefit_of_mrkite t1_jbp44qf wrote

The tv show he was working on at the time was produced by Eddie Murphy. They ended up calling it “the royal family” but the working title was Chest Pains