Beloved Celebrities Who Were Gone Too Soon
Sometimes, the cult following of a movie character actually outlives the actor. Sadly, this is too often the case in Hollywood! Seeing familiar faces onscreen, audiences do not always realize that a star has passed away. A fan update is in order: Who is gone, way too soon?
The role of the Joker in Batman is notorious, and many argue that no one played him quite like the great Heath Ledger. While the villain will live forever, what went so terribly wrong for the actor — and so suddenly?
As it turns out, insomnia. He explained: “I slept an average of two hours a night while playing a psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy. I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.” In the end, he took way too many sleeping pills. And fans still can't process the loss!
Read on to see the young ghosts of Hollywood past that fans still miss to this day!
Stars and fans alike are mourning the sudden loss of Black Panther star, Chadwick Boseman. What happened to the 43 year old rising talent? Social media received the answer, right away.
An official statement read: "Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV. A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy." RIP, T'Challa!
The world of sports will certainly miss football player Diego Maradona, gone at 60. The Argentina legend was the captain when his country won the World Cup in 1986, and is still widely considered one of the best in game history. Sadly, a heart attack surprised everyone in 2020. Social media had a lot to say!
Fan and fellow footballer Cristiano Ronaldo immediately posted: "Today I bid farewell to a friend and the world bids farewell to an eternal genius. One of the best of all time. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon, but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten." RIP, Diego!
Tragic, like no other! The helicopter crash that killed superstar Kobe Bryant and his young daughter shocked the world, to say the least. People who never even took an interest in the Lakers before recognized the obvious sadness of the situation. What went wrong, truthfully?
Kobe Bryant was 41, and has left behind a loving young family since the day pilot Ara Zobayan flew into the clouds.
Wife Vanessa took some time to react on Instagram, but eventually shared a few difficult words: "There aren't enough words to describe our pain right now...I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon."
Attorneys for the widow have now filed a wrongful death lawsuit, but the brother of the pilot is filing his own claims. The question is: What does a victory look like after such tragedy? Hard to say, frankly!
Rickman had the rare capability to be a loveable yet seriously feared villain. Whether he was Hans Gruber in Die Hard, the sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves or as Rasputin. His reputation (and talent) helped put the right spin on his role as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter Franchise.
Unfortunately, Alan isn't around to make more movie magic for the next generation. In August 2016, he suddenly suffered a stroke and discovered that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer. He didn’t tell anyone other than his closest confidants. When he passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends in January 2016, he left the world in shock. Frankly, there is still a huge hole in our hearts!
The lovable Sam Lloyd, gone far too quickly. Audiences are sure to remember his Scrubs character, attorney Ted Buckland: The show wouldn't have been the same without him! Plus, Sam had other fans. A talented musician, he also sang a cappella in a group called The Blanks. What happened off screen, behind all the laughs and tunes?
Very sadly, Sam died from cancer on May 1, 2020. In 2019, he was diagnosed with terrible news: an inoperable brain tumor and cancer. It spread to the rest of his body, and there was little that could be done.
Sam was 56, and has only recently had his first child. According to wife Vanessa: “It doesn’t feel real. It never will. It just feels like he will walk through the door...The overwhelming outpouring of love and sharing your stories about working with or knowing Sam keeps his memory alive and our hearts strong. Sam loved his work. I want to continue his legacy, and hope to share some of the beautiful songs he was working on for his musical and our son, Weston.” Rest in peace, sweet Sam Lloyd.
Lee Thomson Young
Lee Thompson Young had a passion for acting. In fact, his mother testifies that he had a passion for everything. He persuaded his mother to move from Columbia to New York to help his career, when he was only 12! They moved, and he got hired. Things were looking good, indeed.
But there was something in the background that no one expected would end it all. Few knew, but Lee had been struggling with Bipolar Disorder. He fought it, went to therapy, and took medication to keep himself stable. His career continually soared. But somehow, despite all his and his family's efforts, in August 2013, the young star's mental illness got the better of him. The actor took his life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 29. Lee is terribly missed, by one and all!
Heather was a popular child actress who was discovered by director Steven Spielberg when she was just 5. She starred in Poltergeist, and its sequels, Poltergeist II and Poltergeist III.
The young actress fell ill in 1987 and was misdiagnosed with Crohn's disease that was actually a bowel obstruction. Heather died due to complications caused by the wrong prognosis and treatment of cardiac arrest at the age of 12! Her parents sued the hospital and the case was settled out of court. It was traumatizing for everyone, really. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the studio who produced Jaws III (her last film post produced posthumously) dedicated the film to her memory and instructed stars to avoid talking about her death. RIP, little Heather.
In early September 2014, the world woke up one morning to hear that Simone Battle had hung herself in her LA apartment. Battle had begun her career in the UK X Factor and then scored a place in G.R.L. – a Pussycat Dolls reboot. Simon Cowell said she was one of his favorite contestants ever.
In 2012, she had made her film debut co-starring alongside Snoop Dogg, in "We the Party". There was little to indicate that she was suffering from depression. In fact, a day before she was rehearsing with her band and everything seemed normal. A year later in an interview, surviving G.R.L. members stated that they had been through group and individual therapy since the incident and later launched "Lighthouse" as a tribute to Battle, with a clip including home videos and clips of her with the band. So, so sad!
Peaches Geldof has a spark about her which drew everyone in. English columnist, television personality and model, and daughter of musician Bob Geldof, it seemed the life of fame and fortune was too much for her.
At the young age of 25 she was found dead at her home from a heroin overdose. Her father left a statement capturing the heartbreak of her death: "We are beyond pain. She was the wildest, funniest, cleverest, wittiest and the most bonkers of all of us. We loved her and will cherish her forever."
There will never be another Robin Williams. No one disputes this! Although he died in 2014, it's still hard to accept the tragic death of the incredibly talented comedian.
An Oscar winner and a legendary comedian, Robin could make audiences equally laugh and cry. A rare talent, that is! Though he struggled with depression throughout his life and the cause of death was hanging, the story turned out to be more complicated. After years of struggling with mental illness, he also developed a neurological disorder. Sadly, the pain and confusion was too much! Rest in peace, Robin Williams.
Tupac was an American rapper hailed widely as one of the most significant hip hop artists of all time. He highlighted social issues in the inner cities including gun violence. And unfortunately, he himself succumbed to this very scourge in 1996.
The central name in West Coast hip hop will always be a part of the gangsta rap hall of fame. Rival rappers had been threatening Tupac publicly, and eventually things did get very real. Fatally shot in a drive-by, fans were devastated!
Still, the tragedy did not deter listeners from buying more of his records. It seems he has made a fortune posthumously: At this point, Tupac has sold 75 million records! The mystery over his killer continues, but it appears that time is not on that side anymore. As the years pass, it becomes less and less likely to find the truth!
Purple rain, the world's in pain. Prince was a legend with a cult-like following, and fans haven't really accepted that he is gone. How can it be, cruel world?
The Purple Rain singer left friends devastated after he passed away at only 57 years old. Although details surrounding his demise remain unclear, a press release from the medical examiner's office mentioned an accidental overdose of fentanyl! Musicians and cultural figures around the world mourned his death, while his music lives on.
Skye McCole Bartusiak
Anyone who has watched The Patriot will immediately recognize this cute little girl, also known as Skye McCole Bartusiak. She also had notable roles in The Cider House Rules, Don't Say a Word, and Sick Boy all the way up to 2012. So what happened?
Sadly, Skye didn't become the star she was anticipated to be. Living in her parents' garage apartment, she was found dead by her boyfriend in July 2014. The autopsy found that she had died of a mix of the opiate hydrocodone, the muscle relaxer carisoprodol, and inhaling chemical refrigerant difluoroethane. Family speculates that she had suffered a seizure and choked while there was no one around to assist her. Very tragic, indeed!
The Notorious B.I.G.
Christopher George Latore Wallace was the real name of the rapper known as Biggie, The Notorious B.I.G., and Biggie Smalls. The American rapper represented the early 90's New York rap scene oh so well, but it all ended oh so early, too.
After multiple albums gained widespread critical acclaim, Biggie really became the main figure in East Coast hip hop. He won the 1995 Billboard Rapper of the Year award, and began using his clout to really promote new artists when he could. Lil' Kim, for example!
And yet, it didnt last very long at all. The industry rivalries between East Coast and West Coast hip hop became more than just a promotional feud. After Tupac's death in a drive-by, Biggie was next. Murdered in the same way, the shooter remains unidentified t0 this day!
Actor Cameron Boyce was best known for his roles on the Disney Channel series Jessie, as well as Descendants, and Grown Ups with Adam Sandler. But that all ended unexpectedly in the summer of 2019!
Just two days after a joyous fourth of July, the country received terrible news. Cameron was suddenly found in his home in Los Angeles, unresponsive. A statement from the Boyce family explained that he died in his sleep from a seizure, something connected to an ongoing medical condition. Fans knew nothing about that part of his life, and it was a terrible surprise. Cameron was only 20 years old, and gone far too soon!
Corey became a popular household name in the 80's with the roles he played in Lucas, Silver Bullet, and Murphey's Romance. But the sweet teen idol had a very dark secret. What was he hiding from the world, back then?
Friend and co-star Corey Feldman later revealed that he and Corey were both molested during their youth by shady Hollywood professionals. In fact, there have been rumors for years that this happens to many child stars! Corey Haim allegedly got the worst of it, repeatedly raped. Shocking stuff, to be sure! Observers speculate that this eventually led to him becoming a drug addict, with multiple efforts to get clean. Loved ones tried to help him fight, but Corey slipped back into prescription addiction after a roller coaster of detoxes. Tragically, he died in 2010! And frankly, teen heart throbs have never been the same.
Irrfan Khan was a genuine Bollywood icon, and the West got to now him after a successful crossover to Hollywood's Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire. Sadly, he died at the age of 53! What happened, so suddenly?
Irrfan succumbed to a long battle with an neuroendocrine tumor. Cancer is a tough foe! Audiences will remember him across both hemispheres, and a village in India has even named a neighborhood after him. Now Hero chi vadhi, it translates to "neighborhood of a hero". The lasting impression Irrfan made on the Bollywood film scene is now a physical place, too. Namaste, Irrfan Khan!
Madison Wright Morris
Jessica Madison Wright had a bad heart that eventually caught up with her. Starting her career at the age of five as a model, she moved ahead between 1994 and 1999 in entertainment. She was in 9 productions, including Earth 2, The Nanny, and Shiloh. Why did she disappear from film?
At the age of 15, Madison quit the business and went back home. Suddenly, she had deteriorating health!
She was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy and needed a heart transplant. After she recovered, she led a normal life. She even gave speeches on the importance of organ donation! From there, Madison moved back into private life. After training to become a teacher, she got married and went on a honeymoon — but she suffered a massive heart attack, dying the next day. Just a week away from her 22 birthday!
Bobby Driscoll, was Disney's first Peter Pan and is yet another case of Hollywood's use and abuse. The child actor won a special juvenile Oscar in 1949 before becoming Peter Pan. As he matured, his looks changed and a severe case of acne finished his career as a child actor.
This had a damaging blow on him, and when moved schools his fate was all but sealed. He suffered from bullying, couldn't get back into showbiz. Eventually, he developed a heroin addiction at the age of 17! His body was found when a group of children found a penniless corpse with no identification. He was buried in an unmarked grave in New York. A year later his mother made a last attempt to locate her son and a single fingerprint made the identity of the New York John Doe possible.
Forever known as the icon of beauty, Marilyn's most famous quote is timeless: "If you can't handle me at my worst, you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." What happened to this confident woman, so suddenly?
Things seemed glam, but there was a lot going on behind the smile. On August 5, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was found dead at about four in the morning by her housemaid. It was shocking, to say the least! It was allegedly an accidental Barbiturate overdose. But two years later, conspiracy theories began circulating regarding her death. What really happened? It's not 100% clear, but Marilyn is still revered as one of Hollywood's first female sex symbols and stars. And that will never change!
It is absurd just how many on this list took their own life. Chris Cornell frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave was found dead in a hotel room after performing in Detroit on May 18, 2017. He was only 52 at the time.
His wife, Vicky Cornell blamed prescription drugs claiming that he was no depressed and did not want to die, but his anti0anxiety medication drastically altered his moods.It is known that a rare side effect of the drug he was on is, in fact, suicidal thoughts.
Dominique Dunne is best known for her only role on the silver screen as Dana Freeling in the classic horror film, Poltergeist. She was scheduled to play in the 1982 miniseries V, but tragedy struck instead. How was her career cut short?
Dominique had an abusive relationship with Thomas Sweeney. They met in 1981 and moved in together, but he quickly became abusive. In late September 1982, she ran away from him and ended the relationship after she witnessed yet another violent outburst.
Thomas showed up uninvited, and she stepped out to talk to him against all advice from loved ones. Moments later, Dunne was dead by strangulation! The murderer surrendered to the police, and he was eventually found guilty. Of what? Sadly, just voluntary manslaughter, for which he was sentenced to 6.5 years. He only served 3 years and eight months, to everyone's shock! Dominique Dunne, RIP.
Justin Pierce didn't think he'd become an actor until he was discovered by photographer Larry Clark. The high school drop-out turned skateboarder turned actor had more acting in him than many others. Remember him from Casper?
He moved to LA and continued starring in indie films. In 1999, he married to designer Giana Rizzo. Together, they raised two dogs – perhaps a precursor before having kids. Or so it seemed. That would never happen, in the end. In 2000, Justin was found hanging in his room in the Bellagio hotel in Vegas. Two undisclosed suicide notes were found, and were never made public. Fans do not know why Justin killed himself, and he was only 25. Very sad, still!
Rapper Juice WRLD launched his career right on SoundCloud, and quickly rose to the top of the charts. He was widely regarded as an up and coming young artist, and people began to collaborate with him left and right. But abruptly, this was cut short. How?
At age 21, tragedy struck. While walking through the airport in Chicago, Juice Wrld suffered a seizure after stepping off a morning flight from Los Angeles. According to witnesses, the just rapper collapsed! Juice was still alive as paramedics arrived, but he died at a hospital soon after. Truly out of the blue, fans were devastated. His unreleased music continued to roll out over the next year or two, making it seem like he was alive and working. Sadly, it was all just leftover from before!
Matthew was the kid that everyone loved for his role in Mary Poppins. From the moment he came on screen, he had everyone eating out of the palm of his hands!
Before taking a break from showbiz during his adolescent years, Matthew participated in a variety of Disney projects. Everything seemed to be going quite well! But then, the unthinkable happened: In 1975, he went on a trip to India and tragically contracted hepatitis from an unknown (or undisclosed) source. His family is adamant that the disease wasn’t contracted due to drug use, but rather due to eating bad meat. A year later, when he was just 21 when he passed away due to acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis.
Cosmo The Dog
Full House was simply classic. Fuller House? A welcome sequel series! Fans may remember Cosmo, the Fullers' adorable lil' pup on the more recent show, but have many really checked in to see how he is doing off set?
In case anyone has, there is bad news. Following complications from doggy surgery, Cosmo has passed away! Joining Comet from the original Full House, he's floating in the great beyond these days.
Candace Cameron Bure honored the canine on Twitter: “Our sweet boy Cosmo is now running around in doggie heaven. I imagine he’s playing with Comet right now...Cosmo has been in Fuller House since the start and we are heartbroken that he passed away during surgery complications. You’ll be so missed love bug.” All dogs go to heaven, as they say!
The Glee star was very secretive about his past, but Corey admitted something big in 2011: He was suffering from substance abuse and entered rehab. Then, in March 2013 he voluntarily went into rehab again. Did it work out?
His girlfriend Lea Michelle was a model of support, and they both went on a vacation to Mexico after he finished the program. The next couple of months that followed seemed fine, including normal red carpet appearances. During a week stay in Vancouver, he was seen hanging out with his friends. And then, the unimaginable: Corey's body was found on July 13, 2013. He died of an alcohol and heroin mixed drug toxicity with traces of codeine and morphine also found in his system. Forever a shock to the world, and especially for millions of Glee fans!
Together with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker was almost synonymous with The Fast and The Furious franchise. It wouldn't have been the same without him, fans agree!
In real life, Paul was actually an avid fan of cars. He even competed in the Redline Time Attack racing series! Despite knowing what he was doing behind the wheel more than most, the actor drove a sports car into a concrete lamp post and two trees at 45 mph, as a result of old tires. And it combusted within seconds! Sadly, Paul Walker didn't make it out alive: Gone too soon, in a total freak accident.
Malcolm James McCormick was known in the rap game as Mac Miller, but old friends knew him as a kid from the block in Pittsburgh who made it big. The mixtapes he made at age 15 really paid off!
Towards the end of his life, Mac was climbing higher in his career day by day. His debut studio album had been the first indie record to top the US Billboard 200 since '95, and he went ahead with this new confidence to found his own label in 2013: REMember Music. In public, he was seen dating Ariana Grande!
Life looked good, but Mac was actually suffering from substance abuse issues. Fans might have heard him talk about it in songs, and it turned out to be very real. At age 26, Mac died from a drug overdose at home. A tragic accident, and a shock to this day!
K-pop star Goo Hara stunned the music world when she was found at her in Seoul home, tragically too late for any intervention. Suicide was suggested, but not confirmed. What went terribly wrong for this mega-successful singer?
Everything seemed so glam, but Goo had troubles behind the scenes with boyfriend Choi Jong Bum. When Goo was secretly filmed during sex, assaulted, and blackmailed, she tried to hold him legally accountable. Sadly, she was attacked on social media, viciously! It seems the pressure and stress was way too much, and things ended tragically. Today, her brother is seeking justice.
Goo's ex was found guilty of several charges, but only got three years probation! As an additional trial goes ahead, Goo's brother has posted his thoughts online: "My family and many people who cherished and loved Hara are furious at Choi's shameless behaviour...Unfortunately, the punishment for dating violence in our country is too lenient and weak when it comes to protecting the victim. We sincerely hope that at least in the second trial, a just sentence will be served to the person who committed a horrible crime, through wise ruling stemming from universal common sense and a sense of justice." A trial worth following, indeed!
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Whether Philip Seymour Hoffman played the role of actor, director, or producer, he always hit it out of the park. But it was his acting that most fans knew, and knew well for his portrayals of eccentrics, misfits, and lowlifes. The academy noticed, too!
Phillip won an Oscar, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA, all testimony to his deep talent. But in real life, the actor struggled with drugs. On February 2nd, 2014, he was found dead in the bathroom of his Manhattan apartment: Detectives found heroin, prescription medication, and a syringe still in his arm. Shocking stuff, but unfortunately true!
Jonathan Brandis had a bright future ahead of him, except he didn't think so. Known for his roles in Sidekicks and Ladybugs, he also had an ongoing role in Spielberg's seaQuest DSV. Sounds like a promising track. What was the issue?
During an average week in 1994, he received 4000 fans letters. But in 1996, SeaQuest was canceled. Brandis had a hard time finding his way back to the industry, doing mainly movies that went straight to TV or DVD. He was found hanging in his LA apartment hallway by his friends. He left no suicide note, but his stagnant career and fall from fame led him to depression. Such a devastating loss, and so young!
Dana Plato was another Hollywood child star that went through the grinder after early success as Kimberly in Different Strokes. By the time the show ended in 1986, Dana had matured from a young teenaged girl into a married mother. In 1988, her mother and mentor died. Then, her husband left and took their son! It was the beginning of the end.
Dana tried to restart her career with a Playboy shoot, but failed. She ended up entering and re-entering jail and rehab centers during 1992 and 1993. On May 7, 1999, after mostly shying away from the public eye, she went on an interview with Howard Stern. She was open about her drug addictions and past, but when the phones were opened, Stern lost control over his show, audience, callers and the entire situation. Dana was bullied into offering an on-air drug test. Clearly upset, distraught and depressed, the next day she took an overdose of Valium and Lortab in her car. She was 35 years old when she committed suicide. Tragic, truly!
There is a story that James Gandolfini once fell off his scooter in New York. Someone helped him up and called him Tony Soprano. Gandolfini replied, "That's just a character I play!" He was was clearly upset.
Gandolfini co-starred along every big name in Hollywood and in numerous blockbusters, winning three Emmy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and one Golden Globe Award. But still, people did know him best for the mob! With a busy life, maybe he tried to do too much. On the 19 of June in 2013, he was found by his 13-year-old son Michael on the bathroom floor at the Boscolo Exedra Hotel in the Piazza Della Repubblica. Shocking, but true! There will never be another James Gandolfini. He died of a heart attack at the age of 51, and will be missed. An unforgettable talent, if there ever was one!
With a burning desire to be a star from the moment she could talk, Aaliyah started singing lessons soon after. The youngster signed a record contract at the age of 12!
Many thought the R&B sensation would be around for decades to come. But as man plans, God laughs. And a Cessna plane had other ideas. In 2001, Aaliyah and her film crew crashed when taking off from Abaco Island in the Bahamas after completing a video shoot. Aaliyah, six members of her crew, and the pilot died instantly. Another man survived the crash, but died later on. She was only 22 at the time of her death! RIP, Aaliyah.
Growing up, Michael Cuccione, suffered from a form of cancer called 2A Hodgkin's lymphoma, twice. The second time it struck his lungs and through thorough treatment that included chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant, and twelve radiation treatments around his heart and lungs he was cancer free, but with a very weak set of lungs.
This didn't deter him from contacting David Hasselhoff and getting a guest appearance as a cancer victim. He later joined MTV's boyband spoof "2ge+her" gaining instant fame, opening for Brittany Spears and a series. Sadly, his health deteriorated and he started to miss recordings and scheduled shows. In December 2000 he suffered a car crash and his weak lungs developed pneumonia. He entered the hospital on December 4, 2000 and died there on January 13, 2000, a week after his sixteenth birthday.
Brittany Murphy's death is still shrouded in mystery. The Clueless star was found by her husband in their bedroom in 2009.
The coroner's report originally stated natural causes, then a toxicity report added prescription and over the counter painkillers to the cause. Her father had her hair samples examined and they found abnormally high levels of heavy metals and barium, which is used in rat poison. The coroner discarded the father's findings.
While her partner Simon Monjack was being singled out as a suspect by her friends and family, oddly enough, he died a few months later from the exact same natural reasons – pneumonia and anemia. Very Strange.
Probably the man who defined what being All-American is all about. Good lookin', sweet talkin', sexy, tough guy that plays by his own rules. The image was best captured in his most famous film "Rebel Without a Cause". His role as Cal in "East of Eden" cemented his public image. But Dean found a new passion – auto racing!
On September 30, 1955, Dean was persuaded to drive his new Porsche 550 to Salinas, California and was accompanied by Porsche engineer Rolf Wütherich, who maintained the car. Two hours after getting a speeding ticket, Dean saw a 1950 Ford Tudor enter an intersection and knew it was over. His Porsche slammed into the Ford and bounced off the pavement and smashed into the ground two or three times in cartwheels. Dean died almost instantly.
She was an iconic Grammy-nominated soul and funk singer who rose to fame late in life and was one powerhouse of a singer.
Sharon Jones tragically died on November 18, 2016 after battling pancreatic cancer.
She was known for her high-spirited life-shows and great energy. The singer passed away in hospital surrounded by loved ones.
Lisa Lynn Masters
The Brooklyn actress who had starred in shows such as Ugly Betty and Gossip Girl, took her own life while on a modeling assignment in Peru.
A hotel employee found her dead in a hotel room closet after she hanged herself with a skirt. The tragic death came after years of the actress’s battle with depression and anti-depressants were found in her hotel room. Her friends band together to raise money to bring her body back to the U.S and help with burial expenses.
The 29-year-old lead singer for the country band Backroad Anthem was found dead in January of 2016. It came after a tragic week of him being missing for more than a week after him and his friend went out hunting during a storm on Oklahoma.
It is reported that their boat capsized causing both men’s death. Strickland was married to Miss Arkansas USA Helen Wisner for only one year before his devastating death.
It's hard to forget the cute kid who continued to appear in Different Strokes for a long time. Gary's line from the series 'What you talkin' about Willis?' became very popular and can still be found on memes today.
Coleman was short and had severe kidney issues throughout his life, including 2 unsuccessful transplants at an early age. In 2009, he underwent heart surgery but no other details were made public. In 2010, after falling down the stairs of his home, possibly after suffering a seizure, he was rushed to the hospital suffering an epidural hematoma but died the next day. He was 42 when he passed away.
Back in the 1930's, Little Rascal" was the talk of the town. The leading character Alfalfa was adorable on screen,but a wretched nuisance playing dangerous pranks off screen. When the series ended, he found work hard to come by despite his star status. No one wanted Alfalfa anymore!
Soon a life of booze and misdemeanors ensued, but his death is considered still murky. What happened? It is known that Alfalfa went with a friend to collect a debt from a man named Stiltz. The man was home with his wife and three stepchildren. A confrontation ensued, and the two men wrestled over a gun. Alfalfa drew a knife, and Stiltz shot him in what was ruled justifiable homicide. There have been many questions about that night, but one theory is that at the end of the day, Switzer was just a nasty person and the police didn't care to pursue the case. Yikes!
Son of martial artist Bruce Lee, Brandon Lee wanted to follow his footsteps. He too was a martial artist (though not as famous for it as his father) and he too entered showbiz. He did small roles in "Rapid Fire", "Showdown in Little Tokyo" but his breakthrough came with "The Crow".
A prop gun that previously had unknowingly discharged a round with only a primer and had a bullet lodged in the barrel (squib load) was aimed at Lee, and a blank round (creates the same effect as a shot, but has no bullet) was discharged. The gasses flew through the chamber shooting the lodged bullet into Lee's abdomen and he died. With the support of Lee's family, The Crow was completed and is Brandon Lee's legacy.
Neil Fingleton, best known for his role as a giant Mag in the Game of Thrones TV series, was actually quite famous even before that. What was his claim to fame?
He was the tallest British-born man and the tallest man in the European Union at 7 ft 7.56 in (232.6 cm) in height and among the 25 tallest men in the world . His unique height gave him roles in quite a few different TV series and movie stars. Sadly he died of a heart attacked in February 2017. May God bless his tall, tall soul.
Yelchin was born into a Russian Jewish Family in Leningrad before he moved to the United States and began his prosperous acting career. What were his greatest hits, and what happened?
In his short life-time, he accomplished an acting career that he was proud of, performing in films such as ‘Star Trek’, ‘Hearts in Atlantic’ and ‘First Night’. His death in 2016 was a total freak accident. Yelchin died at his home in Los Angeles after being struck by his own car which rolled backward down his driveway and pinned him to his mailbox and security gate. His sudden and awful death shocked the world.
Judith Barsi was only three years old when she scored her first role in ‘Fatal Vision’ after being discovered on a skating rink. Her very short career included roles in films like ‘Jaws’, as well as the voice in the animated film ‘All Dogs Go to Heaven’.
The story of her death, at the incredibly young age of ten, is something like an absolute horror film. As Judith’s career grew, her father became increasingly angry and often threatened to kill himself. Then, one dreadful night in 1988, her father, Josef, killed both his daughter and his wife before killing himself. The horror felt by everyone was unimaginable.
Renfro was a rising star, achieving major acting success at a very young age. He was discovered at age 10, and went on to act in many large and smaller films including ‘The Client’, for which he won The Hollywood Reporter's "Young Star" award.
Unfortunately, like what often happens when you have too much too soon, Renfro could not handle his newfound stardom, and his career began to rapidly fade to his alcoholism and drug abuse. It spiraled out of control until in 2008 at age 25, he was found dead in his apartment due to an accidental heroin overdose. A very sad story with a loss of wasted potential.
Bridget Andersen, real name Mariah Bridgette Andersen, was the American child star known for her role as the adorable Savanna Smiles in the comedy ‘Savannah Smiles’. What went wrong, exactly?
She was an exceptionally intelligent child and knew from the age of 2 she wanted to pursue a career in acting.Sadly, like many others who find fame at such an early age, Andersen fell victim to drug addiction. When she was only 21 years old she died of a heroin overdose.
Otis Ray Redding Jr. was an incredible talent. Singer, songwriter, record producer and talent scout, he played a vital part in the soul, rhythm and blues genre in America.
His death was equally as tragic as it was shocking, on December 10, 1967, ages 26, Redding died in a plane crash while traveling between gigs. Although the cause of the crash was never determined, the weather that day was poor with heavy rain and fog. Ben Cauley, the accidents only survivor, was interviewed. Ben said that he had warned Redding not to fly that day, in fact. Very sad, indeed!
The guy who co-founded the most commercially successful band in the history of music, John Lennon and the Beatles rose to worldwide fame with their music that spoke to millions. Lennon died at the young age of 40, putting an end to generation Beatles.
His death is yet another wacky and crazy story, highlighting the dangers of fame of this level. On the 8th of December 1980, Lennon was returning to his Manhattan apartment, upon exiting their car, a lobe gunman names Mark David Chapman shot at Lennon four times in the back at close range… it gets weirder, earlier in that evening, Lennon had signed an autograph for the gunman. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder and has been denied parole 9 times.
Coined ‘The King of Soul’, Sam Cooke was considered one of the greatest recording artists in America of all time. He was a pioneer for soul music and some say he contributed to the rise of artists such as Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and more.
He too, went too soon, at the young age of 33. The story of his death is a strange one, to say the least. Cooke’s body was found, clad only in a sports jacket and shoes with no shirt, pants or underwear, with a gunshot wound to his chest. The motel manager claimed she was acting in self-defense when Cooke came out in a rage questioning where the lady he checked into the motel was. According to her, Cooke exclaimed ‘Lady you shot me’, before he charged one more time at her before falling to the floor and succumbing to his wounds.
The Nirvana band member had struggled for years with suicidal and drug addiction, in and out of rehab and struggled publicly with his wife, Courtney Love. His death became a topic of fascination and debate, until this very day.
Another one in the infamous ‘27 club’, the ridiculously talented Kurt Cobain was found dead in his Lake Washington home with a gunshot wound to his head and large traces of heroin in his body. Next to him was a note addressed to his childhood imaginary friend that read that he "felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing for too many years now."Kurt was absolutely irreplaceable!
River, best known for his roles in Stand By Me and My Little Idaho, passed away due to a drug overdose of morphine and cocaine at the age of 23. The incident took place on Halloween morning 1993, at The Viper Room. Johnny Depp's bar, actually!
The Viper Room was originally a mobster bar in the 70's and 80's, but Chuck E. Weiss, Johnny Depp and Tom Waits bought the place and redeveloped it. Naturally, it instantly became a Hollywood Elite hangout. Phoenix wasn't the only star to suffer a drug-induced incident there, either: 2 years later, Jason Donovan had an overdose, but survived. Depp pulled out of ownership in 2004, perhaps after too many sad times. It's impossible to forget River!
Rapper, poet, actor, Tupac sold over 75 million records, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. Even today, Tupac has become something of a legend- many considering him the most influential rapper of all time.
It was one of the greatest losses in the music industry when he was killed in a drive-by shooting at only 25 years old. He was shot four times and succumbed to his wounds 6 days after struggling for his life in hospital. The mystery’s surrounding his shooting, who was responsible, and how Tupac’s involvement with not so savory men may have led to it, has remained an open question till today.
Belushi was the comedian and actor who was known far and wide for his intense energy and raucous attitude, which was clear if you watched him on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
Yet another talented person lost to the dark side of addiction, Belushi was found dead in a hotel room by his personal trainer on March 5. 1982. He was only 33 years old. The cause of death was put down to an overdose of heroin and cocaine.
Once this 35-year-old actor was best known for playing footballer Noah "Puck" Puckerman on Glee from 2009 until 2015, and was a favorite of many fans. But even in 2013, he got tangled up in a sex-related scandal, which disappeared outside the courtroom.
And then again in 2015 he was arrested after an anonymous tip saying that he had photos with pedophiliac orientation on his computer, and the police found thousands of these pictures on his computers. He reached a plea deal to finish this nasty issue.
On January 30 2018, he was found dead. Salling's lawyer said: "I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning. Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment. He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother. The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected."
It was only last month, January 19th, that rapper Fredo Santana was found dead by his girlfriend after suffering a massive seizure. The Chicago born rapper was only 27 and is survived by his baby son Legend.
Although the exact cause of death is still unclear, he was known to be a user of cough syrup and sizzurp which is a prescription concoction that makes users feel high, many believe this is what could have added to his health problems. A number of rappers took to social media to pay respects including Drake who posted a picture of the two of them with the caption "Rest in Peace Santana."
Another star who recently passed away is the Cranberries star Dolores O’Riordan who was found dead at the Hilton Park Lane hotel in London, where she was working for a recording session.
The cause of death of the mom-of-three is still unknown though police are not treating it as suspicious. The troubled star is known to have suffered from bipolar and depression. Her family are devastated by her death and have requested privacy and respect during this hard time.
He was described as one of the most promising young talents after bursting on the scene just over to years ago, but tragically, emo rapper Lil Peep died from a drug overdose on November 15, 2017.
Just hours before his death he posted a video in which he said he had taken prescription drugs and other substances. Bella Thorne who briefly dated Peep tweeted "Peep you deserved more out of life. Life didn't do your greatness justice."
Brad starred in ‘Veronica Mars’, ‘A Cinderella Story’ and ‘Malcolm in the Middle’. He tragically committed suicide on November 1, 2017.
He reportedly left a suicide note which thanked his friends and family. It came as a complete shock since he was not known to have struggled with substance abuse nor showed signs of an emotional struggle. We can only imagine the pain his family is going through.
Michelle Thomas left two marks in both "The Cosby Show", as well as "Family Matters", playing Steve Urkel's girlfriend. In 1997 a lemon sized tumor was discovered in her body and was removed.
She went on to do a stint in "The Young and The Restless". In October 1998 she underwent a second procedure after another tumor was discovered.
In December 1998, Michelle died after suffering from a very rare form of cancer, surrounded by her family and friends in a Manhattan's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York aged 29. She was buried in a Muslim funeral service on December 26, 1998.
Tara. Such a sad story. Landing her first role was in Rebound, a role her mother, who worked at a casting company put her up for. Despite having no prior acting experience, Tara nailed it. She then moved on to play tough gang member Graciela Reyes in Judging Amy. So what went wrong?
Perhaps she didn't know how to distinguish her life in front of the camera and her private life. At the age of 16, she moved to California by herself and started dating a gang member who was 10 years older than her. In October 2005 she was shot to death trying to frantically run into her building by gang member Damien Watts. Watts was convicted of Tara's murder along with his accomplice and was sentenced to five life sentences without parole. She wasn't his only victim. His accomplice, Joseph Wayne Jones was sentenced to life without parole for his role in the murder.
Hollywood is tough. The temptations, the stress, the pressure, the media, and well, just being an adolescent all make known (and sometimes tragically unavoidable) pitfalls. Christopher Pettiet was just another victim.
Starting his career in the early 80's with "SeaQuest DSV", "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "L.A. Law", "Empty Nest", "Picket Fences and Undressed", he is best known for his role in "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead". He died in 2000 at the age of 24 from an accidental overdose. His acting coach, Kevin McDermott, founded a scholarship fund in his name. Christopher's last on-screen appearance was in "Judging Amy".
Anissa Jones was more of an angel, especially to her little brother than a person. When she got gifts, but her little brother didn't she'd give them away. When she was 18 she took him to buy herself a car, and bought a Ford Pinto, and drove them to a Chevy dealership and bought him a Camaro that cost twice as much.
She was found dead in August 1976, after a night of partying with a vial of blue unidentified liquid next to her. The coroner identified cocaine, PCP, Quaalude, and Seconal in her system and said it was one of the most severe cases of overdose he had ever seen, and he was in Oceanside California. She was cremated and her ashes scattered in the Pacific. Tragically, her brother Paul overdosed and died 8 years later.
Linkin Park frontman, Chester Bennington is another star who took his own life. he hanged himself in his private residence in Palos Verdes Estate and was found by the housekeeper.
His wife has spoken out explaining that this was no one’s fault and is a result of years of untreated mental health. The singer was close to Chris Cornell who also committed suicide by hanging in May. He was only 52 years old.
Michael Nyqvist who starred in the original Swedish version of the hit book series turned movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo succumbed to lunch cancer on June of 2017 and passed away at the age of 56.
Following that role, he also starred in several English-speaking films such as 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' and 'John Wick.'
He was the Oscar-winning composer and musical genius behind the scores for films like Titanic and Avatar.
Celene Dion who sang "My Heart Will Go On", one of Horner's most popular compositions, wrote on her website that she and her husband were shaken by the tragic death" of their friend and "will always remember his kindness and great talent that changed career."
Wittels had a successful carer as a comedian, actor, producer and musician and wrote for shows such as Parks and Recreation and The Sarah Silverman Program. He also is credited with coining the word ‘humblebrag’.
Yet another celeb to succumb to drugs, he was found dead of a possible drug overdose on February 19, 2015. The official cause was a heroin overdose.
Sawyer Sweeten was most famously known for his role as Geoffrey Barone in the renowned series, "Everybody Loves Raymond". What most people don't know is that Sweeten had battled mental health issues and ADHD for a long time prior to his suicide.
Ultimately, at the age of nineteen, Sawyer took his life with a gun at his aunt's house with his twin brother Sullivan in the other room. Similar to the Olsen twins, the two played together on Everybody Loves Raymond (their sister later joined them). For a while there was worry for Sullivan, but he is recovering from the tragedy and is scheduled to play in a short film "Casting". Sawyer was definitely taken too soon from this lifetime.
Robert Knox was the English actor who played the character of Marcus Belby in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Naturally, he was planning to appear in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, too. What got in the way?
Rob encaountered some unexpcetced tourble during a night out on the town. In May 2008, a fight broke out on the street in Southeast London near a bar. The young actor bravely intervened in a knife fight to protect his brother. And to the shock of the world, Rob died after being stabbed!
The murder attracted a lot of attention in the UK press, and the public demanded justice. His assailant was eventually sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum 20 year period before parole eligibility. Today, a fund has been established by the Rob Knox Foundation to help young local people train in the arts. Very tragic, for all involved!