Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Furst To Last

Last week I was saddened to hear of the death of actor Stephen Furst, who died at the much too young age of 63.

First was probably best known as Pinto in National Lampoon's Animal House.

He also played Vir in the 1990s sci-fi series Babylon 5, and is just one of the inordinate number of actors from that show who all died at a relatively young age. I can't think of any other relatively recent show that's lost so many cast members as B5:

Richard Biggs (Dr. Stephen Franklin) died at 44
Michael O'Hare (Commander Jeffrey Sinclair) died at 60
Jeff Conaway (Sgt. Zack Allan) died at 60
Andread Katsulas (Ambassador G'Kar) died at 59
Jerry Doyle (Chief Michael Garabaldi) died at 60
Tim Choate (Zathras) died at 49

Seven actors from the same show, all dead by age sixty! For the sake of comparison, Star Trek aired in the late 1960s, and four of its seven main cast members are still around. 

So what the heck was going on in that Babylon 5 studio? Asbestos in the air vents? Radiation in the ground soil? Was the soundstage built on an Indian burial ground?

I did some morbid googling, and their causes of death are all over the place, ranging from heart problems to diabetes, and in one case a traffic accident.

So that torpedoes my "cursed studio" theory. I guess there's no sinister reason for the inordinate number of Babylon 5 cast deaths after all. It's just plain old coincidence and a case of some really, really bad luck.

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