In Threes?

I've heard that "deaths come in threes," and this week, for the world of entertainment, that certainly seems to have been the case, as three icons of the 1970s and 1980s have died.

On Tuesday, we got the news that Ed McMahon, longtime second banana to Johnny Carson, had died at the age of 86. It wasn't really a surprise, because he had been in ill health for some time, and besides, once you get to the age of 86, you're playing with the house's money.

Earlier today, I heard that Farrah Fawcett lost her very public battle with cancer. She was 62. Those of us who were old enough to remember watching her on "Charlie's Angels" and seeing the poster of her in the swimsuit will never forget her.

And then, when I got up this evening, I heard the shocking news that Michael Jackson had suffered a massive cardiac arrest and died. Very talented and equally controversial, he was only 50 years old. I suspect that all of the plastic surgeries he had may have taken some kind of physical toll on him. To me, watching him morph from a young black man into some kind of sideshow freak made him a very tragic figure, because it showed that he was incapable of being happy with himself as he was. For all of his money and fame, it was apparent that he was still deeply unhappy. He might have been better off if his father hadn't hustled him and his brothers into show business when he was a kid. He never had a chance at a normal life.

RIP, Ed, Farrah and Michael.