It’s sad, but it could be that the late “Jackass” star Ryan Dunn’s greatest legacy might be as an anti-role model. The daredevil, whose Porsche is said to have been traveling between 132 and 140 miles per hour when it crashed, killing Dunn and passenger Zachary Hartwell last week, had a stunning blood alcohol content of .196, according to a preliminary toxicology report. With an estimated 11 drinks in him before he got behind the wheel, he automatically becomes the poster celebrity for what can happen to you when you drink and drive.
Indeed, Roger Ebert’s notorious tweet — “Friends don’t let Jackasses drink and drive” — over a photo of the horrific remains of that car could serve as an effective public service billboard.
Recent years have, unfortunately, brought us an phalanx of
anti-role model celebrities — who teach us by example what NOT to do.
Two years after Michael Jackson’s death of acute propofol intoxication, his doctor, Conrad Murray, is due to go to trial in September on involuntary manslaughter charges. But certainly, details of Jackson’s gargantuan prescription drug usage that set the stage for the overdose have given people pause.
The same is true of Heath Ledger, who seemed destined to become one of the greatest film actors of our time, until his life was cut short by what the New York City coroner’s office determined was an accidental overdose of painkillers, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety drugs: oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine.
Look out, because, as the late Jeff Conaway pointed out, getting addicted to pain pills can creep up on you.
Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen are just two among the current crop of celebrities who have all but destroyed their careers with wild and sometimes violent behavior — behavior that’s landed each of them behind bars more than once. Lohan and Sheen have each demonstrated how even the most prodigious talents can be thrown away. Let us hope not their lives.
Their poster would have to say something along the lines of “Here’s what excessive partying can do to you, kids.”
Anti-role model celebrities show us so many things — how NOT to divorce (e.g. Madonna and Guy Ritchie), how NOT to parent (Britney Spears), and how NOT to utilize cosmetic surgery (Joan Rivers). The idea of actually looking up to stars sometimes seems positively quaint.