When I ask this question, most people assume I hate celebrities. They think "Oh, you must want them to die otherwise you'd see their immortality as a good thing and leave it be!" Well, that's not the kind of person I am. I want to know WHY they have this immortality. Okay, immortality is a strong word, but let me explain my curiosity.
About 35 public figures have died in 2009 so far. But that list includes Mike Tyson's daughter, Jeremy Lusk, Wayman Tisdale, Nick Adenhart, (not true celebrities), Socks the Cat and Gidget the Taco Bell Dog (not people), as well as Ted Kennedy, Robert McNamara, Dom DeLuise, Oscar Mayer, Walter Cronkite, Eunice Shriver, Don Hewitt, Les Paul, Ed McMahon, and Bea Arthur (people who mostly died of natural causes). With that in mind the list decreases to around 20 surprising deaths and really only Michael Jackson, Billy Mays, and David Carradine were established stars who shockingly died all of a sudden (which is the type of death I'm wondering about.) That number seems curiously sparse to me.
In 2004, 2,398,343 Americans died. So, per day, that gives us a rough figure of 6,571 people. 6,571 Americans die every day, if every day is like a day in 2004... But still. That's 274 an hour and 5 every minute. If you count all the celebrities we have in America, and I'm including popular musicians, actors (even people on VH1), politicians (even the non-charismatic ones), best-selling authors (even the recluses), and pretty much anyone that's constantly in the media, that gives you a shitload of people and yet here we are, WITH the celebrity death wave earlier this year, at three? Five-star celebrities were dropping like flies in the 70's, mostly because of drug use, but drugs are still around AND we have way more celebrities than back then. It just doesn't add up.
You're saying "But they're rich! They have better access to health care and bodyguards." That is true, but not many celebrities in their primes are hooked up to iron lungs being saved by medical technology, and think about all the travel that's going on these days. When I think of celebrity plane deaths I think of Buddy Holly, JFK Jr., and Aaliyah, that's three notable (key word) in the past 50 years! Is that weird? Or is small craft flight really that safe? Those things are falling out of the sky left and right these days, it's just that no celebrities are on board, and maybe the pilots take extra precautions when they're transporting big wigs, but accidents will happen, or not... Consider the plane crash from September of 2008 that had Travis Barker and DJ AM on board. Those two were notable, so they survived, the other 4 people on board who died? Not celebrities. DJ AM did die later on, but that's not the point.
In conclusion, 33 actual people in the public eye died this year as of September 1st 2009, along with around 1,598,896 normal run-of-the-mill, average Americans. Are celebrities that rare? You might not know one personally, but if you knew 1,598,896 people, odds are you'd know more than 33 "celebrities"... These are people who constantly get into trouble, drive drunk, and live life to its fullest, and yet manage to escape the scythe of death much easier than an average American. You have a 0.00214% chance of dying every single day based purely on statistics. If I could find the number of total celebrities, (which is pretty hard to find) I could compare the two percentages, but from what I see, the best thing you can do for your health is forget about the health care debate and try to get on the next season of "Survivor".