Teri Garr is NOT Dead.

"No . . . dude . . . she's dead."

"Wait . . . what?"

"Yeah she totally is."

"No  . . ."

"Yeah she totally died."

"When did this happen?"

"Like . . . a while ago. At least a few years."


"Yeah. And it was some sort of long term disease she'd had forever . . . like since the mid eighties."


"Yeah, really sad."

"That is sad."

Now for the record:

Teri Garr is not dead.

Don't you dare start that rumor.

And it was only brought up because I mentioned after a big lunch - and a beer or two - how nice it would be if someone were to make espresso, which turned into a conversation about "Young Frankenstein", and how it's time to take that movie off the shelves and put it into the DVD player since Halloween is so close.

We should all have holiday movie rituals, here are a few of my suggestions:

Christmas: It's a Wonderful Life

Valentine's Day: Better Off Dead

Mother's Day: Terms of Endearment

Father's Day: Empire Strikes Back

4th of July: Independence Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Enemy Mine

Memorial Day: All 8 discs of Band of Brothers (Non Negotiable)

Labor Day: She's Having a Baby

Halloween: Young Frankenstein, or The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown special, or both.

Thanksgiving: Last of the Mohicans

New Years Eve: Great Expectations

New Years Day: Dude . . . Where's My Car?

Boxing Day: The Champ (If you're a Ricky Schroder Fan) or Raging Bull (if you're a Scorsese nut) or if you got your degree in late eighteenth century english history and know where Boxing Day comes from, you can just watch Season Two of Downton Abbey. (This is especially important if you skipped She's Having a Baby, cause it's unlawful to go through a whole year without a little Elizabeth McGovern.)

Anyway, once we had gone through the ritual of sharing our favorite quotes from Young Frankenstein - a ritual that can last for a least twenty minutes, and have after shocks for the rest of the day - someone mentioned how many of the cast members of that movie are dead.

Actually we weren't that morbid.

We started trying to name those that are still alive.

Gotta think positive.

Gene Wilder, of course, though who knows where he is or what he's doing.

Gene Hackman, of course, wherever there's a need for a convincible bad guy.

Mel Brooks, still doing Mel Brook things.

and then I brought up Teri Garr.

Which lead to the above conversation.

Now my first instinct was to check IMDB right there and then, but I didn't want to be that guy that pulls out his iPhone the second the conversation drops, so I waited until I got home.

And again . . . for the record . . . Teri Garr is not dead.

Now in all fairness, she has been suffering from multiple sclerosis for several decades, publicly announcing the disease in 2002, and in 2005 she had a brain aneurism - unrelated - that lead her through years of physical therapy, and she hasn't made a public appearance since 2007 on the David Letterman show. But that's not the same as being dead.

I don't know why I was transfixed on the status of Teri Garr's heartbeat, I guess it was because - as a pop culture geek - a little bit of my own life experience dies when I hear that a celebrity has passed on and it usually sticks in my mind. So when someone tells me that someone else is dead, and that they died a while ago, I get a little confused that I didn't know that already.

My first memory of Teri Garr - as a child of the eighties - was her role in Mr. Mom. (A favorite of mine, and a good source of the realities of parenting, so feeding the baby chili was one of the few mistakes I never had to make first hand)

I remember my dad telling me the she was his celebrity crush. Which I remember as sounding odd to me at the time, cause I didn't know what that meant. It wasn't until years later that I watched Young Frankenstein and all the puzzle pieces fit together. By that time, I too had developed celebrity crushes, though mine had a tendency to lean towards the whip-smart curly haired brunettes.

Who knows what my life would be like now if "Better Off Dead" hadn't been my favorite movie of all time.

If Diane Franklin (Now Diane De Laurentis) hadn't played Monique (the most awesome chick character ever written) I might still be single.

Well . . . actually . . . to be perfectly honest . . . there's a lot of good historical evidence that the metaphysical concept of "Soul Mates" is an actual thing. And if it is . . . then I would've found mine either way. My wife and I . . . being perfectly made for one another . . . couldn't be just a coin toss.

In fact, there is something to be said that our first 'date' happened to include a party where David Ogden Stiers was present.

And . . . because I know you're gonna look it up . . . he too is still very much alive.

So here's to soul mates, and celebrity crushes, and the hope that we all get to create something immortal somewhere along our timelines and are blessed with quiet obscurity after we've done so.

And let us raise our espresso cups to an actress who is a long way away from an Academy Award Montage. May she continue her roll in the hay.

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