Celebrities who died young
Their celebrity was sometimes brief, sometimes felt for decades. What they had in common was a death that came too soon.
Joey Boots(Credit: AP)
Joseph Bassolino, a popular member of "The Howard Stern Show" known to fans as Joey Boots, was found dead in his New York apartment on Friday, Dec. 23. A police spokesman says it appeared Bassolino died of natural causes. He was 49.
Ricky Harris(Credit: Getty Images / Jerod Harris)
Comedian and actor Ricky Harris, who had a recurring role in Chris Rock's "Everybody Hates Chris" sitcom and voiced several characters that appeared in hip-hop albums, died Monday, Dec. 26. A cause was not immediately available but Harris' manager, Cindy Ambers, said the comedian suffered a heart attack two years ago, according to the Los Angeles Times. He was 54.
Pete Burns(Credit: AP)
Pete Burns, singer with the British band Dead or Alive that had success in the 1980s, died after suffering a heart attack on Oct. 23, 2016. He was 57.
Alexis Arquette(Credit: Getty Images / Jason Merritt )
Alexis Arquette, the transgender character actress and sibling of actors David, Rosanna, Richmond and Patricia Arquette, died Sept. 11, 2016, in Los Angeles of cardiac arrest. She was 47.
Anton Yelchin(Credit: Getty Images / Neilson Barnard)
Anton Yelchin, a rising actor best known for playing Chekov in the new "Star Trek" films, was killed June 19, 2016, during a freak accident when he was struck by his own car as it rolled backward down his driveway in Studio City, police and his publicist said. He was 27.
Christina Grimmie(Credit: AP)
Christina Grimmie, a Season 6 contestant on "The Voice," was shot to death by a gunman while signing autographs at a Florida concert venue on June 10, 2016. She was 22.
Chyna, the tall, muscle-bound, raven-haired pro-wrestler who rocketed to popularity in the 1990s and later made the rounds on reality TV, was found dead in her Redondo Beach apartment on April 20, 2016. She was 46.
Prince(Credit: Getty Images / Vince Bucci)
Prince, one of the most inventive and influential musicians of modern times with hits including "Little Red Corvette," ''Let's Go Crazy" and "When Doves Cry," died from an accidental drug overdose on April 21, 2016, in his suburban Minneapolis home. He was 57.
Joey Feek(Credit: Getty Images / Ethan Miller)
Joey Feek, who with her husband, Rory, formed the award-winning country duo Joey + Rory, died March 4, 2016, after a long battle with cervical cancer. She was 40.
Angela "Big Ang" Raiola
Angela "Big Ang" Raiola, the raspy-voiced bar owner who gained fame on the reality TV series "Mob Wives," died Feb. 18, 2016, nearly a year after being diagnosed with throat cancer. She was 55.
Bobbi Kristina Brown(Credit: Getty Images / Frederic J. Brown)
Bobbi Kristina Brown, the only child of the late singing superstar Whitney Houston, died nearly six months after having been found unresponsive on Jan. 31, 2015, in a bathtub at her town house in suburban Roswell, Ga. She was pronounced dead at the age of 22 on July 26, 2015.
L'Wren Scott(Credit: AP / Jon Furniss)
Designer and former model L'Wren Scott was found dead in her Manhattan apartment on March 17, 2014. The longtime girlfriend of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger, was, according to reports, found hanging by a scarf on a doorknob in her apartment by her assistant. She was 49.
Misty Upham(Credit: AP / Paul A. Hebert)
Actress Misty Upham, known for roles in "August: Osage County," "Frozen River" and "Django Unchained," was reported missing to police by family before her body was found along a river in suburban Seattle on Oct. 16, 2014. She was 32, and had struggled with bipolar disorder and depression.
Peaches Geldof(Credit: Getty Images / Miguel Medina)
Peaches Geldof took a fatal dose of high-purity heroin shortly before she was found dead at her home south of London on April 7, 2014, a British coroner ruled July 23, 2014. She was 25. A model and television celebrity, she was the daughter of musician Bob Geldof.
Diem Brown(Credit: Getty Images / Mark Sagliocco)
TV personality Diem Brown, a cast member on MTVs "The Challenge," died of cancer on Nov. 14, 2014 at a New York hospital. She was 32. Brown was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 23, and announced her real-life challenge on the show.
Philip Seymour Hoffman(Credit: Getty Image / Robyn Beck)
Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead Feb. 2, 2014, of what police called an apparent drug overdose in his West Village apartment. He was "unconscious and unresponsive, lying on the bathroom floor" of his Bethune Street building when his friend, playwright David Katz, discovered his body and called 911, the NYPD said. He was 46.
Ryan Knight(Credit: Getty Images / Mike Coppola)
"The Real World: New Orleans" 2010 cast-member Ryan Knight, was found dead Thursday, Nov. 26, 2014. He was found unconscious and not breathing at a friend's residence in Kenosha, Wisconsin, at the age of 28. No official cause of death has been released.
Paul Walker(Credit: AP)
Actor Paul Walker, known for his roles in the "Fast & Furious" movie franchise, died on Nov. 30, 2013, when the car he was a passenger in hit a power pole and became engulfed in flames. He was 40.
Cory Monteith(Credit: Getty Images)
"Glee" actor Cory Monteith, who struggled with addiction, was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room on July 13, 2013, just two months after he spent time in rehab. A coroner's report later said the cause of death was "mixed drug toxicity" from intravenous heroin use and alcohol. He was 31.
James Gandolfini(Credit: AP / Matt Sayles)
Actor James Gandolfini, who redefined popular culture's idea of a leading man with his harrowing portrayal of Tony Soprano on "The Sopranos," died of a heart attack on June 19, 2013, while on vacation in Italy. He was 51.
Whitney Houston(Credit: AP)
Singer and actress Whitney Houston, a six-time Grammy winner was found dead in the bathtub of her Beverly Hilton hotel room on Feb. 11, 2012, the eve of the Grammy Awards. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning with a cocaine overdose and coronary artery disease. She was 48.
Adam Yauch(Credit: AP)
Adam Yauch, part of the pioneering rap trio Beastie Boys, died May 4, 2012, after a yearslong battle with cancer. He was 47.
Andy Whitfield(Credit: Getty Images)
"Spartacus: Blood and Sand" actor Andy Whitfield died of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma on Sept. 11, 2011, in Sydney, Australia. He was 39.
Amy Winehouse(Credit: AP)
Amy Winehouse, the beehived soul-jazz diva whose self-destructive habits overshadowed a distinctive musical talent, was found dead on July 23, 2011, in her London home, police said. Her cause of death was reported as alcohol poisoning. She was 27.
Patrice O'Neal(Credit: AP)
Comedian Patrice O'Neal, who appeared on "The Opie and Anthony Show" and "Arrested Development," died Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011, due to complications from a stroke he suffered the month before, his publicist said. He was 41.
Gary Coleman(Credit: AP)
"Diff'rent Strokes" star Gary Coleman died on May 28, 2010, after suffering a brain hemorrhage that put him in a coma before he was removed from life support. He was 42.
Corey Haim(Credit: AP)
Corey Haim, a 1980s teen idol, succumbed to a combination of pneumonia and a bad heart on March 10, 2010. Although eight drugs were found in his system, including marijuana and a cold medicine, a coroner ruled they did not play a role in his death. He was 38.
Michael Jackson(Credit: AP)
Michael Jackson, the king of pop, died on June 25, 2009, from a fatal combination of prescription drugs that shut down his already weak heart. He was 50. The doctor who administered the drugs, Conrad Murray, was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 4 years in prison.
Natasha Richardson(Credit: AP)
After what seemed like a relatively minor head injury during a ski vacation with one of her sons in Canada, actress Natasha Richardson died from bleeding on the brain on March 18, 2009. She was 45.
Brittany Murphy(Credit: Getty Images)
Brittany Murphy, the actress who got her start in the sleeper hit "Clueless" and rose to stardom in "8 Mile," died Dec. 21, 2009, in Los Angeles. The coroner report listed pneumonia as the primary cause of death, although there were legal medications found in her system.
Heath Ledger(Credit: AP)
"Brokeback Mountain" and "The Dark Knight" actor Heath Ledger was found dead in his SoHo bedroom by his masseuse on Jan. 22, 2008. His death was deemed an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. He was 28.
Bernie Mac(Credit: AP)
Famous comic Bernie Mac died of complications from pneumonia in a Chicago hospital on Aug. 9, 2008. He was 50.
Anna Nicole Smith(Credit: AP)
Former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith was found dead on Feb. 8, 2007, in a Hollywood, Fla. hotel room after ingesting a combination of sleeping pills and other medications. She was 39.
John Ritter(Credit: AP)
The son of a legendary country musician and actor Tex Ritter and his wife, actress Dorothy Fay, John Ritter became famous for his role in the 1977 TV sitcom, "Three's Company" and landed his last television role in "8 Simple Rules." John died Sept. 11, 2003, from a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect. He was 54.
Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes(Credit: AP)
Singer-rapper Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, who made up one-third of the girl group TLC died in a car crash in Honduras on April 25, 2002. She was 30.
R&B singer Aaliyah died on Aug. 25, 2001, in the crash of a the twin-engine plane shortly after takeoff from the Bahamas. She was 22. Billboard quoted the plane's manufacturer as saying the plane was carrying too many people. The Cessna 402B was reported to be about 700 overweight. Aaliyah and eight others had just wrapped filming for her "Rock the Boat" music video.
Princess Diana(Credit: AP)
Princess Diana died Aug. 31, 1997, from injuries sustained during a Paris car crash that occurred while the car was being followed by paparazzi. She was 36. A 2008 British inquest ruled the crash was caused by the driver Henri Paul who was drunk and mishandled the car at high speed.
Biggie Smalls(Credit: Newsday / Stan Honda)
Rapper Biggie Smalls, known as The Notorious B.I.G., was killed by an unknown assailant in a Los Angeles drive-by shooting on March 9, 1997. He was 24.
Chris Farley(Credit: AP / Richard Drew)
Chris Farley, the "Saturday Night Live" comedian and star of "Tommy Boy," "Billy Madison" and "Wayne's World," died of a drug overdose on Dec. 18, 1997 at the age of 33.
Tupac Shakur(Credit: Columbia Pictures)
Rapper Tupac Shakur was the victim of a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas on Sept. 13, 1996. It's believed the suspect was linked to the East-Coast-West-Coast hip-hop rivalry with the rapper Christopher Wallace, known as Biggy Smalls and Notorious B.I.G. He was 25.
Selena(Credit: AP )
Latin-American crossover phenomenon Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the artist known simply as Selena, left, was fatally shot on March 31, 1995, by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldívar, right, at a Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi, Texas, when the singer met Saldívar there to confront her about embezzling funds. Selena was 23.
John Candy(Credit: AP)
John Candy, the "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" funnyman, died of a heart attack in his sleep on March 4, 1994. He was 43.
Kurt Cobain(Credit: Getty Images / Frank Micelotta)
Kurt Cobain, leader of the multi-million record-selling rock group Nirvana, whose success helped introduce the world to alternative music, was found dead in his North Seattle home on April 5, 1994. Police said Cobain appeared to have killed himself with a shotgun blast to the head. A suicide note was found near the body. He was 27.
River Phoenix(Credit: AP )
Actor and teen icon River Phoenix, second from left, died on Oct. 31, 1993, outside the Viper Room nightclub in Hollywood from a drug overdose. He was 23.
Freddie Mercury, legendary front man for the band Queen, who composed many of Queen's top hits including "Killer Queen," "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Are the Champions," died Nov. 24, 1991, from bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS. He was 41.
Stevie Ray Vaughan(Credit: AP, 1986)
Stevie Ray Vaughan, one of the most influential electric guitarists, died on Aug. 27, 1990, when his helicopter crashed into a hill in East Troy, Wis., after leaving a concert. He was 35.
Natalie Wood(Credit: AP)
Natalie Wood, best known for her roles in "Miracle on 34th Street" and "West Side Story," who couldn't swim, drowned in the waters off California's Santa Catalina Island. Wood, husband Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken were drinking heavily in the hours before she disappeared. She was 43 when she died in November 1981.
Bob Marley(Credit: Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd.)
Bob Marley, recognized as a reggae performer who brought Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement to a worldwide audience, is best known for hits like "Could You Be Loved" and "One Love." Marley had a malignant melanoma under a toenail that spread to his lung and brains, causing his death on May 11, 1981, at age 36.
John Lennon(Credit: AP)
John Lennon, the founding member of The Beatles, was assassinated by a crazed fan in front of his apartment complex in Manhattan on Dec. 8, 1980. He was 40.
Elvis Presley(Credit: AP)
Elvis Presley, or "The King," collapsed on the bathroom floor of his Memphis home, Graceland, on Aug. 16, 1977. The idol, who was known to have abused prescription drugs, was 42.