All 16 of the Icons Name-Dropped in Madonna’s “Vogue” Are Now Gone

Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 12 2014 10:30 PM

All 16 of the Icons Name-Dropped in Madonna’s “Vogue” Are Now Gone

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An odd bit of trivia about the passing of Lauren Bacall on Tuesday: As Marci Robin pointed out on Twitter, all 16 of the 20th-century stars immortalized in Madonna's “Vogue” are now dead. The famous black-and-white music video, directed by David Fincher, is an homage to the golden age of Hollywood.

The song came out in March of 1990; Greta Garbo died just a month later. (James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and others had already gone, of course.) Bacall, 24 years on, was the final one.

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Greta Garbo (April 15, 1990)

Marilyn Monroe (Aug. 5, 1962)

Marlene Dietrich (May 6, 1992)

Joe DiMaggio (March 8, 1999)

Marlon Brando (July 1, 2004)

James Dean (Sept. 30, 1955)

Grace Kelly (Sept. 14, 1982)

Jean Harlow (June 7, 1937)

Gene Kelly (Feb. 2, 1996)

Fred Astaire (June 2, 1987)

Ginger Rogers (April 25, 1995)

Rita Hayworth (May 14, 1987)

Lauren Bacall (Aug. 12, 2014)

Katharine Hepburn (June 29, 2003)

Lana Turner (June 29, 1995)

Bette Davis (Oct. 6, 1989)​

The song was a tribute, of course, to a certain kind of old-fashioned glamour. With Bacall gone, that flame has just about burned out. 

Miriam Krule is a Slate assistant editor.

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