Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor obit writer both deceased

Joe Pompeo

Hollywood doyenne Elizabeth Taylor died of congestive heart failure Wednesday at the age of 79. Mel Gussow, the writer of Taylor's swiftly published New York Times obituary, died of cancer in 2005 at the age of 71, Nick Greene over at The Village Voice points out.

It's common for major news outlets to pre-emptively commission obits for celebrities, politicians and other well-known figures, and then to keep the pieces on file for years, updating them periodically until the subject dies. But the concept nevertheless became a topic of fascination and amusement Wednesday on blogs and Twitter. And it turns out that Taylor is hardly the first celeb to outlive the person who chronicled her death.

(AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau)