19 Famous People Who Were Gone Too Soon

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The death of a famous celebrity will always be in the headlines, and people will have mixed emotions over it, but any terrible news of a celebrity’s early death will surely wrench our hearts.

19 Famous People Who Were Gone Too Soon

These sudden deaths were responsible for many fan breakdowns. When you idolize someone, that person becomes a part of your life, without him/her realizing it. It’s only natural to mourn their death. These celebrities died far too young, some even at the height of their career. Grab your hankies because this is going to be one emotional ride.

1. Paul Walker

News of Paul Walker’s tragic death shook the world that day. He was leaving a charity event for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan when he died on November 30, 2013 at around 3:30 pm.

Further investigation concludes that the death was due to over speeding, as he was travelling between 80 to 93 miles per hour. He was only 40 years old.

2. Brittany Murphy

The Clueless star lost her life to an overdose of over-the-counter drugs. The Los Angeles Fire Department attended to a “medical request” on December 20, 2009 at around 8:00 pm.

Murphy had collapsed in a bathroom. In an attempt to save her life, firefighters tried to resuscitate her before transporting her to the hospital, where she died after a cardiac arrest.

3. Marilyn Monroe

This legendary bombshell was only 36 years old when she died of a drug overdose in 1962.

Norma Jeane Mortenson, aka Marilyn Monroe, was one of the most famous sex symbols in the 50s. She has been a pop culture icon ever since.

4. River Phoenix

River Phoenix was a famous actor on the rise when he died at the age of 23.

He died of heart failure outside The Viper Room, a West Hollywood nightclub. It is said that it was caused by an overdose of mixed drugs and alcohol.

5. Heath Ledger

This phenomenal star known for his role as Joker died at the young age of 28 due to an overdose of prescription drugs just before the major success of his movie, the Dark Night.

He won a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Academy award for his starring role as Joker.

6. Cory Monteith

This pioneer Glee star was battling depression and addiction when he finally succumbed to death at the mere age of 31 on July 13, 2013,

Cory Monteith left his long-term girlfriend Lea Michele behind.

7. John Ritter

John Ritter’s death was due to aortic dissection on September 11, 2003 – six days prior to his 55th birthday. He got sick while rehearsing for 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter and was taken to the hospital where he was misdiagnosed.


He was treated for a heart attack but his condition just got worse. He was then diagnosed with aortic dissection, an illness that required surgery. He died while the surgery was performed.

8. James Dean

Hollywood’s resident “bad boy” died at the young age of 24 when he was driving to a sports car race.

He crashed at the intersection of California State Routes 46 and 41. Based on popular cultural myth, his car “Little Bastard” bears a curse.

9. Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee rose to fame through his dexterity in martial arts, which earned him a lot of breaks as a movie star.

He died at the young age of 32 due to brain swelling. The whole world grieved at his untimely death. He was a tragic loss for the movie industry.

10. Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood was a beautiful actress beyond compare.

She was on a weekend boat trip with her husband Robert Wagner and co-star Christopher Walken when she drowned. Many people believe that foul play was involved.

11. Gary Coleman

This child actor who was best known for playing Arnold Jackson in Diff’rent Strokes died of epidural hematoma at age 42.

Gary had a very successful career until everything started collapsing around him. He faced bankruptcy, sued his parents and attempted suicide twice.

12. Philip Hoffman

The internationally acclaimed actor, who was one of the best in his generation, died at age 46. Hoffman was addicted to drugs for many years.

He had managed to stay sober until 2013. In February 2014, he was found dead in the bathroom of this New York City apartment. He had a syringe in his arm.

13. Tupac Shakur

One of the most iconic rapper of the 90’s Tupac Shakur was killed in Las Vegas in a drive-by shooting in September 1996. He was only 25 but he’s considered one of the most talented and influential rapper of all time.

His career was extremely prolific. The rapper was indeed known to be a workaholic with an incredible work ethic. Until today, nobody knows who killed Tupac. However, according to a former LAPD officer, P. Diddy had Tupac killed, and Tupac’s manager Suge Knight retaliated by having Biggie Smalls, the rival legendary rapper and friend of P. Diddy, killed 6 months later.

14. David Bowie

A true superstar over 5 decades, David Bowie died in early January 2016, two days after he turned 69.

He had been suffering from liver cancer for 18 month but had preferred not to make it public. While he was alive, David Bowie sold more than 140 million records around the world.

15. Aaliyah

An R&B singer, dancer, actress, and model, Aaliyah sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.

The “Princess of R&B” who was listed by Billboard among the 10 most successful female R&B artists of the past 25 years, died in a plane accident in the Bahamas. The pilot of the plane did not have a license; traces of cocaine and and alcohol were found in his blood.

16. Amy Winehouse

Amy was one of the rare artists to be able to express her talent through different musical genres, from jazz and soul to rhythm and blues.

The young singer had been struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol for several years. She also suffered from bulimia, which weakened her body. Amy died of accidental alcohol poisoning at the age of 27, leaving the world with a highly acclaimed career.

17. Kurt Cobain

The founder of the legendary band Nirvana committed suicide at the age of 27. His body was found 3 days after his death in his Seattle home.

He had left a note that read “”felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing… for too many years now”. Considered one of the greatest rockstars in history, Kurt was driving his band’s success. However, in the last few years that preceded his death, Kurt struggled with heroin addiction and depression.

18. John Lennon

The former Beatle was shot in the back and killed outside The Dakota Building in New York City on the 8th December 1980.

The first photo below, which chillingly shows Lennon signing an autograph for his killer Mark Chapman a few hours before his death, is often claimed to be the last photo of Lennon, but it is in fact the second grainy photo which is the final image of John.

19. Michael Jackson

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Michael Jackson. The pop icon was getting ready for his comeback concert series when he lapsed into unconsciousness, lying in his bed.


The investigated concluded that he had died of propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication and his personal physician was charged with involuntary killing him after injecting drugs to put the insomniac singer to sleep. According to Forbes, Michael Jackson is the artist that has had the highest earnings since his death, with $115 million to date.


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