It's that time of year when we look back on those we've loved and lost in 2016, but for the tabloids, it's worth remembering those we haven't lost – the stars we were promised had just days to live, yet who refuse to play the game and are still with us.
Nick Nolte, Cher, Jerry Lewis, Valerie Harper – all were given just weeks to live, yet defy the highly trained medical reporting teams of America's best tabloids.
For one moment set aside thoughts of David Bowie, Prince, George Michael and Carrie Fisher. Let's take a break from mourning Zsa Zsa Gabor, the inspiration for celebutantes from Kim Kardashian to Paris Hilton, taken before her prime at the age of 99, with so much left to live for.
Instead, let's spare a moment of compassion for those poor tabloid hacks who wonder why their predictions of celebrity demise have proven so wrong.
"Michael Douglas – The End!" screamed the 'National Enquirer' cover on March 28, 2016. He's still with us.
"Michael J Fox – The End!" yelled the 'Globe' front page on April 4. Also still with us.
With their expert medical knowledge and years of psychic training, tabloid reporters can often predict to the day how long an ailing celebrity has left.
'Valerie Harper – 2 Months To Live!" reported the 'Globe' on its cover of February 1. It's been almost ten months, and she's still here.
"Michael Douglas Cancer Relapse – 3 Months To Live!" stated the cover of the 'Enquirer' on February 8. Still here.
"Jerry Lewis, 90 – 2 Months To Live!" yelled the 'Globe' cover of May 2. He's spent almost eight months proving the 'Globe' wrong.
"Alcoholic Nick Nolte – 4 Weeks To Live!" proclaimed the 'Globe' cover of August 1. Almost five months later, he's still going strong.
And let's not forget Val Kilmer, who more than a year ago on December 21, 2015, was given "3 Months To Live!" on the front page of the 'Globe,' a cover also notable for the headline: "Dying Cher's Last Christmas." Perhaps Cher celebrated Hanukkah this year instead?
Let's not forget those stars who have been dying all year, their demise imminent, if not forecast to the day.
"Dying Queen Blows $2 Billion Fortune!" reported the cover of the 'Globe' on January 25. Yet Her Majesty is still alive almost a year later, and still outrageously mega-rich.
"Dying Burt Reynolds Heart Attack Drama!" lamented the 'Enquirer' cover of a year ago, on December 21, 2015. Still with us.
Former morning TV host Regis Philbin? "Dying," according to the 'National Examiner' on June 13. Still here.
And then there are those stars nearing the end, who in tabloid parlance are enduring their "Sad Last Days!"
"Brave Stars' Fight For Life" reported the 'National Examiner' on March 7, warning us to prepare to bid farewell to Jack Nicholson, Richard Dreyfuss, Joanne Woodward, Ryan O'Neal, Michael Douglas and Valerie Harper. All still with us.
The 'Examiner' was at it again on May 9, reporting the "Sad Last Days!" of Priscilla Presley, Don Rickles, Marion Ross and Olivia De Havilland. All still here. Let's face it, De Havilland is 100 years old, and if the tabloids can't even call that one right, what hope do they have?
But come August 15, they were back at it again, with another cover proclaiming the "Sad Last Days!" of Robert Redford, Julie Andrews, Al Pacino, Shannen Doherty, Shelly Long – all dying, according to the 'Examiner.' All still with us more than four months later.
"Debbie Reynolds – Sad Last Days!" proclaimed the cover of the 'Examiner' on June 20. Still going.
"Della Reese – Sad Last Days!" reported the 'Globe' on August 11. Still here.
Yet no star has defied tabloid death predictions more than Angelina Jolie, otherwise known as "Dying Angie" on the cover of this week's 'Enquirer.' "76 lbs & hospitalized!" screams the headline, above a photo of the actress looking decidedly gaunt. But if the image looks familiar, it should: you would have found the same picture on the cover of the 'Enquirer' on April 11, under the headline: "Dying Angie Losing Battle – 79 lbs & Hospitalized!" Almost the identical headline above the identical photo, eight months later, with the main difference being that the crack team of 'Enquirer' medical correspondents took another look at the photo and decided that she's actually three pounds lighter in the snap.
Relentless in its pursuit of celebrity deaths, the 'Enquirer' this week reports that the "Dying Queen . . . has just two months to live!" and that Valerie Harper is still "dying," and singer Kelly Clarkson has been warned (by an 'Enquirer' doctor who has not examined her) to "Diet or Die!" The 'Globe' brings us "Dementia Fears for Tony Bennett," and a "Matt Damon Health Crisis!"
And the 'Examiner,' God bless 'em, bring us a year-end list of the stars' enduring their "Sad Last Days!" This time it's the turn of Alan Alda, Barbara Walters, Doris Day, Willie Nelson, Cloris Leachman and Chevy Chase to be warned that their days are numbered. They can take comfort in the fact that inclusion on this list is almost a guarantee of long life.
Onwards and downwards . . .