Deny it all you want, but the Celebrity Rule of Threes is real, and it's happening again.

Today we lost three actors known for their iconic characters: Russell Johnson, the Professor on Gilligan's Island; Dave Madden, the Partridge Family's manager; and one of the last living Munchkins, Ruth Robinson Duccini.

Celebrities — who only die in threes — sometimes have to wait as long as two days before the cycle completes. For example, in 2009, Ed McMahon died on June 23; it wasn't until June 25 that Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett rounded out the trio. Celebrities (who are also born in threes) have also acknowledged the rule's existence.

But tonight, all the other celebrities in the world can sleep soundly, still and dreamless, prepared to fight on again for at least one more day.

[image via AP]