Where Aren't They Now? 13 Overlooked Deaths of 2010

Apparently, big-time celebrities consider dying to be just so 2009, because after a year of star-studded celebrity passings, 2010 saw only a few big names leave the mortal coil.

And while the Gary Colemans and the Corey Haims hogged the posthumous limelight, we think there were a few others who deserve a little recognition as well, Cracked-style.

#13. Jan. 4 -- The World's Luckiest (or Unluckiest) Man

Who?

Tsutomu Yamaguchi, survivor of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear attacks of 1945

How?

Stomach cancer

The legacy:

During World War II, Yamaguchi lived in Nagasaki, but he just happened to be in Hiroshima for business on Aug. 6, 1945. After surviving the attack with just a few burns on his upper body, Yamaguchi, along with two co-workers, hightailed it back home to the safety of ... Nagasaki.

Two days later he reported back to work, just in time for the second bomb to hit.


"You have got to be shitting me."

Not only did he survive both atomic explosions without serious injury, but his wife and son made it through unharmed as well. Needless to say, he spent the rest of his life loudly claiming to be a Highlander (or campaigning against nuclear weapons ... we forget which).

#12. Jan. 11 -- The World's Strongest Man

Who?

Joe Rollino, Coney Island Strongman

How?

Hit by a minivan

The legacy:

Clocking in at a nuggety 5-foot-5, Rollino once moved 3,200 pounds with his back, bent nails with his mouth and coins with his hands, and lifted 450 pounds with his teeth. In other words, there wasn't a part of his body that couldn't manipulate matter with brute force.

During WWII, he used his strength to carry four wounded men at a time off the battlefield. And he didn't die of organ failure or a heart attack like most 104-year-olds -- it took a whole minivan to knock Rollino out of the land of the living. But that's OK, because the word on the street was that Rollino was eager to finally meet Death face to face so he could drag him around the underworld with his pinky toe.

#11. Apr. 9 -- The Munchkin Coroner

Who?

Meinhardt Frank Raabe, one of the last surviving cast members of The Wizard of Oz

How?

Heart attack

The legacy:

As memorable as the Munchkin coroner was in The Wizard of Oz, Raabe really only got 13 fleeting seconds of screen time (declaring the Wicked Witch of the East to be deceased), and his few lines were dubbed over by another actor altogether. But don't go crying for old Meinhardt, because he not only ended up surviving just about everyone else from the movie but also went on to serve as a pilot during World War II, enjoy a 50-year marriage with his sweetheart and get cast as the Oscar Mayer spokesman. And yes, that meant he got to ride around in that sweet Wienermobile. Jealous?

Meinhardt Raabe: Not only is he merely dead, he's really most sincerely dead.

#10. May 9 -- The Inventor of the Bazooka

Who?

Edward Uhl, inventor of the most hilariously named weapon ever conceived

How?

Heart failure

The legacy:

Edward Uhl, like most young men in the 1940s, had a problem: How in blazes was he supposed to rocket-launch a grenade toward Nazi tanks without blowing his own face off? Luckily, also like most men in the 1940s, Uhl enjoyed the national pastime of walking past junk piles filled with scrap metal. And it was on one such constitutional that he came across the answer to all his grenade-launching problems: a tube. Uhl figured out that a shoulder-mounted tube could launch a bomb without injuring the launcher. And then he exclaimed, "Ba-ZOOOOO-ka!" And the rest is history.

#9. June 3 -- The Original GILF

Who?

Rue McClanahan, the slutty one from The Golden Girls

How?

Stroke

The legacy:

The man-crazed Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls was one of the first mainstream portrayals of older citizens as sexual beings. This could have been a step toward respect for the dignity and sensuality of people at all stages in life. Instead, we got granny porn. Thank you for being a friend, Rue.

#8. July 1 -- Cinderella

Who?

Ilene Woods, the voice of Cinderella

How?

Causes related to Alzheimer's disease

The legacy:

To really appreciate what Ilene Woods brought to the Disney princess franchise, have a listen to her predecessor, the voice of Snow White:

It's like listening to Edith Bunker mate with Emo Philips and then sing about it as operatically as possible. Now check out an 18-year-old Ilene Woods:

Her honey-smooth voice is dripping with sex. And with Woods as the star, Cinderella became Disney's first hit in 13 years, which provided the cash flow to keep the studio in business. Are we saying you can thank Woods for the empire that would later produce Miley Cyrus? Yes. Yes we are.

#7. July 12 -- A Splendid American

Who?

Harvey Pekar, underground comic book writer, perpetual curmudgeon and Letterman irritant

How?

Accidental overdose of antidepressants

The legacy:

A lifelong resident of Cleveland, Ohio (see cause of death), Pekar developed a friendship with legendary underground comic creator R. Crumb, which lead to the creation of Pekar's comic book series American Splendor. This lead to multiple television appearances, publication of several collected editions of his work and ultimately a 2001 movie adaptation of his life in which he was played by Paul Giamatti.

And did we mention that Pekar couldn't actually draw? That someone else was doing all the artwork for him? Or that in spite of getting praised as a modern-day Chekhov, he kept his job as a file clerk in a VA hospital until retiring at 62? Kinda makes our unwillingness to work before 10 a.m. or past 3 p.m. look pretty lame, huh?

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