Celebrities Who Died Before Their Time

by MightyBlood | created - 08 Dec 2013 | updated - 9 months ago | Public

Please leave a comment if you feel somebody is missing.

1. Wallace Reid

Actor | Carmen

The son of writer-theater producer-director-actor Hal Reid, Wallace was on stage by the age of four in the act with his parents. He spent most of his early years, not on the stage, but in private schools where he excelled in music and athletics. In 1910, his father went to the Chicago studio of "...

(1891–1923) (age 31)

Morphine addiction

2. Martha Mansfield

Actress | Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Stunning silent screen actress Martha Mansfield was a musical comedy star in New York City by the time she entered films in 1916 for Max Linder. Before long she advanced to second leads in features, including the role of Millicent Carew in the John Barrymore starrer Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), ...

(1899–1923) (age 24)

Toxemia and burns of the extremities

3. Lucille Ricksen

Actress | Judgment of the Storm

Lucille Ricksen was born Ingeborg Erickson on August 22, 1910, in Chicago, Illinois. She worked a child model and made her film debut at the age of five. Her parents separated and her mother took her to Hollywood in 1920. Ten year old Lucille was offered a contract with Samuel Goldwyn and starred ...

(1910–1925) (age 14)

Tuberculosis

4. Rudolph Valentino

Actor | The Sheik

Hollywood's original Latin Lover, a term that was invented for Rudolph Valentino by Hollywood moguls. Alla Nazimova's friend,Natacha Rambova (nee Winifred Hudnut) became romantically involved with Rudy and they lived together in her bungalow, from 1921 (during the filming of Camille) until they ...

(1895–1926) (age 31)

Ruptured gastric ulcer and general peritonitis

5. Mabel Normand

Actress | Mickey

Mabel Normand was one of the comedy greats of early film. In an era when women are deemed 'not funny enough' it seems film history has forgotten her contributions. Her films debuted the Keystone Cops, Charlie Chaplin's tramp and the pie in the face gag. She co-starred with both Chaplin and Roscoe "...

(1892–1930) (age 37)

Pulmonary Tuberculosis

6. Lon Chaney

Actor | The Phantom of the Opera

Although his parents were deaf-mutes, Leonidas Chaney became an actor and also owner of a theatre company (together with his brother John). He made his debut at the movies in 1912, and his filmography is vast. Lon Chaney was especially famous for his horror parts in movies like e.g. Quasimodo in ...

(1883–1930) (age 47)

Throat hemorrhage

7. Dorothy Dell

Actress | Little Miss Marker

Dorothy Dell was born to Elbert and Lillan Goff in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on January 30, 1915. She won the most beautiful baby in Hattiesburg beauty contest when she was thirteen months old. She lived in New Orleans from the age of ten. She attended the Sophie Wright High School for girls. ...

(1915–1934) (age 19)

Traffic Collision

8. Jean Vigo

Writer | Zéro de conduite: Jeunes diables au collège

Jean Vigo had bad health since he was a child. Son of anarchist militant Miguel Almareyda, he also never really recovered from his father's mysterious death in jail when he was 12. Abandoned by his mother, he passed from boarding school to boarding school. Aged 23, through meetings with people ...

(1905–1934) (age 29)

Tuberculosis

9. Thelma Todd

Actress | Horse Feathers

Thelma Todd was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, an industrial city near the New Hampshire state line. She was a lovely child with good academic tendencies, so much so that she decided early on to become a schoolteacher. After high school she went on to college but at her mother's insistence ...

(1906–1935) (age 29)

Accidental carbon monoxide poisoning

10. Jean Harlow

Actress | Bombshell

Harlean Carpenter, who later became Jean Harlow, was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 3, 1911. She was the daughter of a successful dentist and his wife. In 1927, at the age of 16, she ran away from home to marry a young businessman named Charles McGrew, who was 23. The couple pulled up ...

(1911–1937) (age 26)

Uremic poisoning brought on by acute nephritis

11. George Gershwin

Soundtrack | Manhattan

He was born Jacob Gershowitz, 26 September 1898, in Brooklyn, New York, of Russian-Jewish immigrants. As a boy he could play popular and classical works on his brother Ira's piano by ear. In 1913 he quit school to study music and began composing for Tin Pan Alley; by 1919 he had his first hit "...

(1898–1937) (age 38)

Brain Tumor

12. Robert Johnson

Soundtrack | The Skeleton Key

Robert Johnson was born on May 8, 1911 in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, USA as Robert Leroy Johnson. He was married to Calleta "Callie" Craft and Virginia Travis. He died on August 13, 1938 in Greenwood, Mississippi.

(1911–1938) (age 27)

Unknown causes, possible poisoning

13. Carole Lombard

Actress | To Be or Not to Be

Carole Lombard was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on October 6, 1908. Her parents divorced in 1916 and her mother took the family on a trip out West. While there they decided to settle down in the Los Angeles area. After being spotted playing baseball in the street with the ...

(1908–1942) (age 33)

Plane crash

14. Carole Landis

Actress | I Wake Up Screaming

Carole Landis was born on New Year's Day in 1919 in Fairchild, Wisconsin, as Frances Lillian Mary Ridste. Her father, a railroad mechanic, was of Norwegian descent and her mother was Polish. Her father walked out, leaving Carole, her mother and an older brother and sister to fend for themselves.

...

(1919–1948) (age 29)

Intentional drug overdose

15. Lupe Velez

Actress | The Girl from Mexico

Lupe Velez was born on July 18, 1908, in San Luis de Potosi, Mexico, as Maria Guadalupe Villalobos Velez. She was sent to Texas at the age of 13 to live in a convent. She later admitted that she wasn't much of a student because she was so rambunctious. She had planned to become a champion ...

(1908–1944) (age 36)

Suicide, seconal overdose

16. George Orwell

Writer | Nineteen Eighty-Four

Born the son of an Opium Agent in Bengal, Eric Blair was educated in England (Eton 1921). The joined the British Imperial Police in Burma, serving until 1927. He then travelled around England and Europe, doing various odd jobs to support his writing. By 1935 he had adopted the 'pen-name' of 'George...

(1903–1950) (age 46)

Tuberculosis

17. Eva Perón

Actress | La cabalgata del circo

Eva María Duarte was born into a small poor village, Los Toldos. When she was still a child she always knew she wanted to break out and get more than the others from her life. She wanted to become an actress. At the age of 15, she seduced the singer Agustín Magaldi to take her with him on his ...

(1919–1952) (age 33)

Uterine cancer

18. Hank Williams

Soundtrack | The Last Picture Show

Hank Williams was born in September 1923 in a small Alabama farming community about 70 miles south of Montgomery. His father was a railroad engineer who was also a victim of shell shock after a year of fighting in France in 1918 during World War I and spent many years in veterans hospitals. Hank's ...

(1923–1953) (age 29)

Insufficiency of the right ventricle of the heart

19. Miroslava

Actress | La muerte enamorada

Born in the pre-war Prague, young Miroslava Sternova (or simply Miroslava, as she was known in her film career) was brought to Mexico by her parents in the late 30s, leaving her childhood, her native Czechoslovakia and her beloved grandma. After winning a beauty contest in Mexico City, Miroslava ...

(1925–1955) (age 30)

Suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills

20. Charlie Parker

Soundtrack | Se7en

Charles Christopher Parker Jr. was born on August 29, 1920, in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, to Charles Parker Sr. and his 18-year-old wife Addie. His father ran out on the family when Charlie was just a little boy. When he was 11 his mother bought him an alto saxophone for his birthday. By ...

(1920–1955) (age 34)

Pneumonia, heart failure and cirrhosis of the liver following drug abuse

21. James Dean

Actor | East of Eden

James Byron Dean was born February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana, to Mildred Marie (Wilson) and Winton A. Dean, a farmer turned dental technician. His mother died when Dean was nine, and he was subsequently raised on a farm by his aunt and uncle in Fairmount, Indiana. After grade school, he moved to ...

(1931–1955) (age 24)

Traffic collision

22. Tyrone Power

Actor | Witness for the Prosecution

Tyrone Power was one of the great romantic swashbuckling stars of the mid-twentieth century, and the third Tyrone Power of four in a famed acting dynasty reaching back to the eighteenth century. His great-grandfather was the first Tyrone Power (1795-1841), a famed Irish comedian. His father, known ...

(1914–1958) (age 44)

Heart attack

23. Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer

Actor | Feed 'em and Weep

Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer was born on August 7, 1927 in Paris, Illinois, USA as Carl Dean Switzer. He was an actor, known for Feed 'em and Weep (1938), Rushin' Ballet (1937) and Johnny Doughboy (1942). He was married to Dian Collingwood. He died on January 21, 1959 in Mission Hills, California, USA.

(1927–1959) (age 31)

Homicide by shooting

24. Buddy Holly

Soundtrack | Mr. Nobody

Buddy Holly was born on September 7, 1936 in Lubbock, Texas, USA as Charles Hardin Holley. He was married to Maria Elena Santiago. He died on February 3, 1959 in Clear Lake, Iowa, USA.

(1936–1959) (age 22)

Plane crash

25. Ritchie Valens

Soundtrack | Grease

Ritchie Valens was born on May 13, 1941 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Richard Steven Valenzuela. He died on February 3, 1959 in Clear Lake, Iowa, USA.

(1941–1959) (age 17)

Plane crash

26. The Big Bopper

Soundtrack | True Romance

The Big Bopper was born on October 24, 1930 in Sabine Pass, Texas, USA as Jiles Perry Richardson Jr. He was married to Adrianne Joy Fryon. He died on February 3, 1959 in Clear Lake, Iowa, USA.

(1930–1959) (age 28)

Plane crash

27. George Reeves

Actor | Adventures of Superman

George Reeves was born George Keefer Brewer in Woolstock, Iowa, to Helen Roberta (Lescher) and Donald C. Brewer. He was of German, English, and Scottish descent. Following his parents' divorce and his mother's remarriage to Frank J. Bessolo, Reeves was raised in Pasadena, California, and educated at...

(1914–1959) (age 45)

Suicide by gunshot

28. Mario Lanza

Actor | The Great Caruso

Mario Lanza's life, sadly, has all the markings of an epic Shakespearean tragedy. The story is truly incredible: a wild, incendiary Philadelphia kid who can sing better than Enrico Caruso sets out to become the greatest dramatic opera singer who ever lived, is detoured by MGM honcho Louis B. Mayer ...

(1921–1959) (age 38)

Heart attack

29. Errol Flynn

Actor | The Adventures of Robin Hood

Errol Flynn was born to parents Theodore Flynn, a respected biologist, and Marrelle Young, an adventurous young woman. Young Flynn was a rambunctious child who could be counted on to find trouble. Errol managed to have himself thrown out of every school he was enrolled in. In his late teens he set ...

(1909–1959) (age 50)

Heart attack

30. Eddie Cochran

Soundtrack | Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Eddie Cochran was born as Edward Raymond Cochran on October 3, 1938 in Albert Lea, Minnesota. When Eddie was 14, his parents moved to Bell Gardens, California where he began playing the guitar. In 1954, Eddie joined a local band with songwriter Hank Cochran where Eddie performed as the second ...

(1938–1960) (age 21)

Motor vehicle crash

31. Clark Gable

Actor | It Happened One Night

William Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio, to Adeline (Hershelman) and William Henry Gable, an oil-well driller. He was of German, Irish, and Swiss-German descent. When he was seven months old, his mother died, and his father sent him to live with his maternal aunt and uncle ...

(1901–1960) (age 59)

Coronary thrombosis

32. Marilyn Monroe

Actress | Some Like It Hot

Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, comedienne, singer, and model. She became one of the world's most enduring iconic figures and is remembered both for her winsome embodiment of the Hollywood sex symbol and her tragic personal and professional struggles within the film industry. Her life and ...

(1926–1962) (age 36)

Barbiturate overdose

33. Sylvia Plath

Writer | The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath was born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, to Otto and Aurelia Schoeber Plath, both professors. When Sylvia was eight, Otto died of complications from diabetes. Her mother struggled to give Sylvia and her younger brother every advantage of a superior education. Self-consciousness and ...

(1932–1963) (age 30)

Suicide, carbon monoxide poison

34. Patsy Cline

Soundtrack | Assassin's Creed

Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932 in Winchester, Virginia. Her brush with show business came at age four when she won a prize in an amateur tap dancing contest. By the time she entered grade school, her family was fully aware of her musical talent. On her eighth ...

(1932–1963) (age 30)

Plane crash

35. John F. Kennedy

Writer | Profiles in Courage

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts, to Rose Kennedy (née Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald) and Joseph P. Kennedy. John was named after his maternal grandfather, John "HoneyFitz" Fitzgerald, the mayor of Boston. John was very ill as a child and was given the last ...

(1917–1963) (age 46)

Assassinated

36. Sabu

Actor | The Thief of Bagdad

Sabu Dastagir (or Selar Shaik Sabu, depending on your resource) was born on January 27, 1924, in the little town of Mysore, India, which is nestled in the jungles of Karapur. The son of an elephant driver (mahout) in service for the Maharajah of his town, the young stable boy learned responsibility...

(1924–1963) (age 39)

Heart attack

37. Sam Cooke

Soundtrack | Innerspace

Sam Cooke was born January 22, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He was one of eight children of Charles Cook Sr., a Baptist minister. When Sam sang as a little boy in church, everyone made note that his voice had "something special". He sang in church and in local gospel choirs until a group called...

(1931–1964) (age 33)

Gunshot wound

38. Judy Holliday

Actress | Born Yesterday

Judy Holliday was born Judith Tuvim in New York City on June 21, 1921. Her mother, a piano teacher, was attending a play when she went into labor and made it to the hospital just in time. Judy was an only child. By the age of four, her mother had her enrolled in ballet school which fostered a ...

(1921–1965) (age 43)

Breast cancer

39. Dorothy Dandridge

Actress | Carmen Jones

Dorothy Jean Dandridge was born on November 9, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Ruby Dandridge (née Ruby Jean Butler), an entertainer, and Cyril H. Dandridge, a cabinet maker and minister. Under the prodding of her mother, Dorothy and her sister Vivian Dandridge began performing publicly, usually in ...

(1922–1965) (age 42)

Embolism or drug overdose

40. Montgomery Clift

Actor | From Here to Eternity

Edward Montgomery Clift (nicknamed 'Monty' his entire life) was born on October 17, 1920 in Omaha, Nebraska, just after his twin sister Roberta (1920-2014) and eighteen months after his brother Brooks Clift. He was the son of Ethel "Sunny" Anderson (Fogg; 1888-1988) and William Brooks Clift (1886-...

(1920-1966) (aged 45)

Heart attack (brought on by occlusive coronary artery disease)

41. Jayne Mansfield

Actress | The Girl Can't Help It

One of the leading sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s, film actress Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19, 1933 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, the only child of Vera J. (nee Palmer; later Peers) and Herbert W. Palmer. Her parents were well-to-do, with her father a successful attorney ...

(1933–1967) (age 34)

Motor vehicle crash

42. Vivien Leigh

Actress | A Streetcar Named Desire

If a film were made of the life of Vivien Leigh, it would open in India just before World War I, where a successful British businessman could live like a prince. In the mountains above Calcutta, a little princess is born. Because of the outbreak of World War I, she is six years old the first time ...

(1913–1967) (age 53)

Chronic tuberculosis

43. John Coltrane

Soundtrack | Vanilla Sky

John Coltrane was born on September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina, USA as John William Coltrane. He was married to Alice Macleod and Juanita Grubbs. He died on July 17, 1967 in Huntington, Long Island, New York, USA.

(1926–1967) (age 40)

Liver cancer

44. Otis Redding

Soundtrack | Top Gun

Otis Redding was born on September 9, 1941 in Dawson, Georgia, USA as Otis Ray Redding Jr. He was married to Zelma Atwood. He died on December 10, 1967 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

(1941–1967) (age 26)

Plane crash

45. Nick Adams

Actor | Kaijû daisensô

Nick Adams, best known to audiences as Johnny Yuma of the TV series The Rebel (1959), played leads and supporting parts in many films of the 1950s, often cast in the same "troubled young man" mold as his good friend, James Dean. He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Twilight of Honor...

(1931–1968) (age 36)

Drug overdose

46. Frankie Lymon

Soundtrack | American Graffiti

Frankie Lymon was born on September 30, 1942 in Harlem, New York City, New York, USA as Franklin Lymon. He was married to Emira Lymon, Zola Taylor and Elizabeth Waters. He died on February 28, 1968 in New York City.

(1942–1968) (age 25)

Heroin overdose

47. Bobby Driscoll

Actor | Peter Pan

Bobby Driscoll was a natural-born actor. Discovered by chance at the age of five-and-a-half in a barber shop in Altadena, CA. and then convincing in anything he ever undertook on the movie screen and on television throughout his career spanning 17 years (1943-1960). Includes such notable movie ...

(1937–1968) (age 31)

Heart Failure

48. Martin Luther King

Soundtrack | Freedom Writers

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the son of Alberta Christine (Williams), a schoolteacher, and Martin Luther King Sr. a pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. For Martin the civil rights movement began one summer in 1935 when he was six ...

(1929–1968) (age 39)

Assassination by gunshot

49. Scotty Beckett

Actor | A Date with Judy

Scotty Beckett was one of the cutest, most successful child actors of the 1930s and 1940s. His descent into a life of alcoholism, drugs, and crime remains one of the most tragic of Hollywood stories.

Born Scott Hastings Beckett on October 4, 1929, in Oakland, California, he and his family moved to ...

(1929–1968) (age 38)

Uncertain, possibly overdosed on barbiturates or alcohol, or died as a result of a beating

50. Robert F. Kennedy

Writer | The Missiles of October

Robert Francis Kennedy (1925-68), US politician, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the third son of Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy and wife Rose Kennedy. He studied at Harvard and at the University of Virginia University Law School, served at sea (1944-46) in World War II, was admitted to the bar...

(1925–1968) (age 42)

Assassination by gunshot

51. Barbara Bates

Actress | All About Eve

Born in Denver, Co, 6 August, 1925 and originally named Barbara Jane Bates, Barbara was the eldest of 3 daughters born to a postal clerk and RN.

Rather shy, her mother initially sent Barbara to study ballet. By her late teens, the young beauty began to model clothes as a teen out of high school.

...

(1925–1969) (age 43)

Suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning

52. Judy Garland

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

One of the brightest, most tragic movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era, Judy Garland was a much-loved character whose warmth and spirit, along with her rich and exuberant voice, kept theatre-goers entertained with an array of delightful musicals.

She was born Frances Ethel Gumm on 10 June 1922 in ...

(1922-1969) (aged 47)

Accidental barbiturate overdose

53. Brian Jones

Soundtrack | Mord und Totschlag

Jones was born on 28 February, 1942, to Lewis and Louise Jones. He had two sisters, Pamela and Barbara. Pamela died when Brian was still a child. He fathered his first of several children in high school and was subsequently made to leave. In the early 1960s, Brian formed the legendary group, The ...

(1942–1969) (age 27)

Accidental drowning, death by misadventure

54. Sharon Tate

Actress | Valley of the Dolls

Sharon's early life was one of constant moving as her father served in the military. When she lived in Italy, she was voted "Homecoming Queen" of her high school. After being an extra in a few Italian films, Sharon headed to Hollywood where she would again start as an extra. Her first big break ...

(1943–1969) (age 26)

Murder by stabbing

55. Tammi Terrell

Soundtrack | Guardians of the Galaxy

Tammi Terrell was born on April 29, 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Thomasina Winifred Montgomery. She died on March 16, 1970 in Philadelphia.

(1945–1970) (age 24)

Malignant brain tumor

56. Inger Stevens

Actress | Hang 'Em High

This enigmatic Stockholm-born beauty had everything going for her, including a rapidly rising film and TV career. Yet on April 30, 1970, at only 35, Inger Stevens would become another tragic Hollywood statistic -- added proof that fame and fortune do not always lead to happiness. Over time, a ...

(1934–1970) (age 35)

Acute barbiturate poisoning, possible suicide

57. Jimi Hendrix

Soundtrack | Woodstock

Widely regarded as the greatest and most influential guitarist in rock history, Jimi Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942 in Seattle, Washington, to African-American parents Lucille (Jeter) and James Allen Hendrix. His mother named him John Allen Hendrix and raised him alone while his father, Al ...

(1942–1970) (age 27)

Asphyxiation from sleeping pill overdose

58. Janis Joplin

Soundtrack | Watchmen

Janis Lyn Joplin was born at St. Mary's Hospital in the oil-refining town of Port Arthur, Texas, near the border with Louisiana. Her father was a cannery worker and her mother was a registrar for a business college. As an overweight teenager, she was a folk-music devotee (especially Odetta, ...

(1943–1970) (age 27)

Heroin overdose

59. Jim Morrison

Soundtrack | Forrest Gump

James Douglas Morrison was born on December 8, 1943 in Melbourne, Florida, to Clara Virginia (Clarke) and George Stephen Morrison, a U.S. Naval Officer who fought in World War II. Jim eventually became so estranged from his parents that he would later claim that they were dead. Not much is known ...

(1943-1971) (aged 27)

Heart failure

60. Pier Angeli

Actress | Battle of the Bulge

Anna Maria Pierangeli was born June 19, 1932, in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. Anna and her twin sister, Marisa Pavan, both had their eyes on become film stars, since that was one of the big Italian pastimes. Anna adopted her surname and split it in half, and it was as Pier Angeli that she would find ...

(1932–1971) (age 39)

Accidental barbiturate overdose

61. Duane Allman

Self | The History of Rock 'n' Roll

Duane Allman was born in Nashville, Tennessee in November 1946. On Christmas Day in 1960, Duane was given a motorcycle as a gift while his younger brother, Gregg Allman, got a guitar. A few months later, Duane wrecked his motorcycle in an accident, but traded in the spare parts for a guitar of his ...

(1946–1971) (age 24)

Motorcycle crash

62. Pete Duel

Actor | Alias Smith and Jones

Born on 24 February 1940 in Rochester, New York, Pete Duel moved to West Hollywood in 1963 following a tour with the National Road Company's "Take Her, She's Mine". After landing small guest spots on various TV series, Pete was cast in a recurring role alongside Sally Field on Gidget (1965) in 1965...

(1940–1971) (age 31)

Self-inflicted gunshot wound

63. Meena Kumari

Actress | Kaajal

Born 1933 into a poor Parsee theatre family of Ali Bux and dancer Iqbal begum in Bombay, Maharashtra, India. Entered films to support family in difficult times. She was six when hired for Leatherface (1939) in 1939 by Vijay Bhatt and named Baby Meena. Later she became Meena Kumari when cast for ...

(1932–1972) (age 39)

Liver cirrhosis

64. Dan Blocker

Actor | Bonanza

Dan Blocker is one of the true television immortals, having played Hoss Cartwright -- the heart and soul of Bonanza (1959) -- for 13 seasons, before his untimely death in 1972 at the age of 43. "Bonanza" was the most popular TV series of the 1960s, ranked #1 for three straight seasons (1964-65 ...

(1928–1972) (age 43)

Pulmonary embolism

65. Brandon De Wilde

Actor | Shane

Born into a theatrical family, he made a much-acclaimed Broadway debut a "The Member of the Wedding." , when he was 9 years old. He was the first child actor to win the Donaldson Award, and went on to repeat his role in the film version (directed by Fred Zinnemann in 1952). As the blond-haired, ...

(1942–1972) (age 30)

Motor vehicle crash

66. Veronica Lake

Actress | Sullivan's Travels

Veronica Lake was born as Constance Frances Marie Ockleman on November 14, 1922, in Brooklyn, New York. She was the daughter of Constance Charlotta (Trimble) and Harry Eugene Ockelman, who worked for an oil company as a ship employee. Her father was of half German and half Irish descent, and her ...

(1922–1973) (age 50)

Hepatitis and acute renal failure

67. Bruce Lee

Actor | Meng long guo jiang

Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema and a key figure of modern popular media. Had it not been for Bruce Lee and his movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream North American and ...

(1940–1973) (age 32)

Cerebral edema

68. Jim Croce

Soundtrack | Django Unchained

Jim Croce was born on Sunday, January 10th, 1943 in a working-class section of Philadelphia, in an Italian-American family. While a teenager, he began playing the accordion, and then learning to play an acoustic guitar when he was 18. After a short stint in the U.S. Army, where he supposedly met ...

(1943–1973) (age 30)

Plane crash

69. Bobby Darin

Soundtrack | Come September

Walden Robert Cassotto, nicknamed "Bobby", was born in The Bronx, New York, in 1936. Severe rheumatic fever as a child scarred his heart and led to an overprotected and pampered childhood. He was the focal point of a family that fostered and encouraged his love of music. His music career started ...

(1936–1973) (age 37)

After open-heart surgery

70. Cass Elliot

Soundtrack | Repo Men

Cass Elliot was born Ellen Naomi Cohen on September 19, 1941, in Baltimore, Maryland. She grew up in the Washington D.C. environs and in her senior year of high school, performed in a summer stock production of "The Boyfriend" at the Owings Mills Playhouse, where she played the French nurse who ...

(1941–1974) (age 32)

Heart failure

71. Rod Serling

Writer | The Twilight Zone

John Phillips is the name used by longtime television and film writer Rod Serling when he asked that his real name be removed as the writer of the pilot episode of the series "The New People" in 1969. While Serling's name remained as series developer, he was sufficiently annoyed with ABC- TV's ...

(1924–1975) (age 50)

Complications arising from a coronary bypass operation

72. Sal Mineo

Actor | Rebel Without a Cause

Salvatore (Sal) Mineo Jr. was born to Josephine and Sal Sr. (a casket maker), who emigrated to the U.S. from Sicily. His siblings were Michael, Victor and Sarina. Sal was thrown out of parochial school and, by age eight, was a member of a street gang in a tough Bronx neighborhood. His mother ...

(1939–1976) (age 37)

Murder by stabbing

73. Anissa Jones

Actress | To Rome with Love

Anissa Jones was born on March 11, 1958 in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA as Mary Anissa Jones. She was an actress, known for To Rome with Love (1969), Family Affair (1966) and The Trouble with Girls (1969). She died on August 28, 1976 in Oceanside, California, USA.

(1958–1976) (age 18)

Drug overdose

74. Freddie Prinze

Actor | Chico and the Man

Freddie Prinze was born Frederick Karl Pruetzel in New York City, New York, to a Puerto Rican mother, Aurea Elena Ruiz, and a German immigrant father, Edward Karl Pruetzel. Freddie grew up in the Washington Heights section of New York City. As a chubby child, he was often bullied, but was quite ...

(1954–1977) (age 22)

Suicide by gunshot

75. Matthew Garber

Actor | Mary Poppins

Matthew Garber was a British child actor. Both of his parents were theatrical actors, but neither was particularly famous.

In 1963, Garber came to the attention of actor Roy Dotrice (father of Karen Dotrice) who was seeking potential child actors. Roy recommended Garber to the casting department of ...

(1956–1977) (age 21)

Pancreatitis

76. Elvis Presley

Soundtrack | Tickle Me

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in East Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys Presley (née Gladys Love Smith) and Vernon Presley (Vernon Elvis Presley). He had a twin brother who was stillborn. In 1948, Elvis and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee where he attended Humes High School. ...

(1935–1977) (age 42)

Cardiac arrhythmia

77. Maria Callas

Soundtrack | Ghost in the Shell

This volatile opera diva was born in New York City to Greek émigrés in 1923. Her father set up a pharmacy and changed the family name from Kalogeropoulos to Callas. As a child Maria studied the piano. When her parents separated (she was 14 at the time), her mother returned to Athens with Maria and ...

(1923–1977) (age 53)

Heart failure

78. John Cazale

Actor | Dog Day Afternoon

John Cazale was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to an Irish-American mother, Cecilia (Holland), and an Italian-American father, John Cazale. Cazale only made five feature films in his career, all which many fans and critics alike call classics. But before his film debut, the short The American Way (...

(1935-1978) (aged 42)

Lung cancer

79. Bob Crane

Actor | Hogan's Heroes

Handsome Bob Crane had many careers including working as a disc jockey for a while. He started acting around the age of 33. One of his first acting jobs was in Return to Peyton Place (1961). After a guest appearance on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) and a supporting role on The Donna Reed Show (1958)...

(1928–1978) (age 49)

Homicide, bludgeoned to death

80. Robert Shaw

Actor | A Man for All Seasons

Robert Archibald Shaw was born on August 9, 1927, in Westhoughton, Lancashire, England, the eldest son of Doreen Nora (Avery), a nurse, and Thomas Archibald Shaw, a doctor. His paternal grandfather was Scottish, from Argyll. Shaw's mother, who was born in Piggs Peak, Swaziland, met his father while...

(1927–1978) (age 51)

Heart attack

81. Keith Moon

Actor | Tommy

Keith John Moon was born to working class parents in Wembley, London, England, on the 23rd August, 1946. At the age of 12, he had joined the Sea Cadet Corp and was given his first musical instrument, the bugle. He left school by 15 and was in his first band, The Beachcombers; this was around the ...

(1946–1978) (age 32)

Accidental overdose of prescription drugs

82. Sid Vicious

Soundtrack | The Astronaut's Wife

Along with fellow Sex Pistol member, Johnny Rotten, lanky, sneering, pock faced Sid epitomised the punk movement born in the mid 1970s in working class England. Sid Vicious (real name John Beverly) wasn't an original member of the Pistols, but rather joined the band after original bassist, Glen ...

(1957–1979) (age 21)

Heroin overdose

83. Jean Seberg

Actress | À bout de souffle

Jean Dorothy Seberg was born in Marshalltown, Iowa, to Dorothy Arline (Benson), a substitute teacher, and Edward Waldemar Seberg, a pharmacist. Her father was of Swedish descent and her mother was of English and German ancestry.

One month before her eighteenth birthday, Jean landed the title role in ...

(1938–1979) (age 40)

Barbiturate overdose

84. Ian Curtis

Soundtrack | Donnie Darko

Ian Curtis was born in Old Trafford, Manchester, at the Memorial Hospital. He grew up listening to The Who and The Rolling Stones, and other heroes of his teenage years included David Bowie, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, and James Dean. He especially liked musicians whose lyrics ...

(1956–1980) (age 23)

Suicide by hanging

85. Peter Sellers

Actor | Being There

Often credited as the greatest comedian of all time, Peter Sellers was born Richard Henry Sellers to a well-off acting family in 1925 in Southsea, a suburb of Portsmouth. He was the son of Agnes Doreen "Peg" (Marks) and William "Bill" Sellers. His parents worked in an acting company run by his ...

(1925-1980) (age 55)

Heart attack

86. John Bonham

Soundtrack | The Song Remains the Same

John Bonham is still regularly voted in polls as the greatest and most influential rock drummer of all time, an opinion which has also been expressed by the likes of Roger Taylor of Queen, Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

He started playing drums at the age of five ...

(1948–1980) (age 32)

Pulmonary oedema

87. Steve McQueen

Actor | The Great Escape

He was the ultra-cool male film star of the 1960s, and rose from a troubled youth spent in reform schools to being the world's most popular actor. Over 25 years after his untimely death from mesothelioma in 1980, Steve McQueen is still considered hip and cool, and he endures as an icon of popular ...

(1930–1980) (age 50)

Heart attack following surgery

88. John Lennon

Actor | A Hard Day's Night

John Winston (later Ono) Lennon was born on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England, to Julia Lennon (née Stanley) and Alfred Lennon, a merchant seaman. He was raised by his mother's older sister Mimi Smith. In the mid-1950s, he formed his first band, The Quarrymen (after Quarry Bank High School, ...

(1940–1980) (age 40)

Murdered by gunshot

89. Nargis

Actress | Raat Aur Din

She was born on June 1, 1929 as Fatima Rashid in Rawalpindi, British India, daughter to Jaddanbai and Uttamchand Mohanchand, a former Hindu Mohyal Brahmin who converted to Islam as Abdul Rashid. Her mother was a well-known dancer, singer, actor, composer, and director. This is what paved the way ...

(1929–1981) (age 51)

Pancreatic cancer

90. Bob Marley

Soundtrack | Strange Days

Bob Marley was born on February 6, 1945, in Nine Miles, Saint Ann, Jamaica, to Norval Marley and Cedella Booker. His father was a Jamaican of English descent. His mother was a black teenager. The couple planned to get married but Norval left Kingston before this could happen. Norval died in 1955, ...

(1945–1981) (age 36)

Metastatic skin cancer

91. Natalie Wood

Actress | Rebel Without a Cause

Natalie Wood was born on July 20, 1938 in San Francisco, California, USA as Natalia Nikolaevna Zacharenko. She was an actress, known for Rebel Without a Cause (1955), West Side Story (1961) and Splendor in the Grass (1961). She was married to Richard Gregson and Robert Wagner. She died on November ...

(1938–1981) (age 43)

Drowning and other undetermined factors

92. John Belushi

Actor | Saturday Night Live

John Belushi was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on January 24, 1949, to Agnes Demetri (Samaras) and Adam Anastos Belushi, a restaurant owner. His father was an Albanian immigrant, from Qytezë, and his mother was also of Albanian descent. He grew up in Wheaton, where the family moved when he was ...

(1949–1982) (age 33)

Acute cocaine and heroin intoxication

93. Randy Rhoads

Soundtrack | Ghost Rider

Randy Rhoads was born on December 6, 1956 in Santa Monica, California, USA as Randall Williams Rhoads. He died on March 19, 1982 in Leesburg, Florida, USA.

(1956–1982) (age 25)

Plane crash

94. Romy Schneider

Actress | L'important c'est d'aimer

Romy Schneider was born on 23 September 1938 in Vienna, Austria into a family of actors. Making her film debut at the age of 15, her breakthrough came two years later in the very popular trilogy Sissi (1955). Her mother, supervising her daughter's career, immediately approved Romy's participation ...

(1938–1982) (age 43)

Cardiac arrest

95. Grace Kelly

Actress | Rear Window

On November 12, 1929, Grace Patricia Kelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to wealthy parents. Her girlhood was uneventful for the most part, but one of the things she desired was to become an actress which she had decided on at an early age. After her high school graduation in 1947, Grace ...

(1929–1982) (age 52)

Injuries from car accident

96. Dominique Dunne

Actress | Poltergeist

Dominique Dunne was born to a life of privilege in Santa Monica, California, the daughter of Ellen Beatriz Griffin Dunne and Dominick Dunne, a producer, actor, and writer. Actor Griffin Dunne is her brother. After her parents' divorce, she moved first to New York, and then to a posh home in Beverly...

(1959–1982) (age 22)

Strangulation

97. Marty Feldman

Actor | Young Frankenstein

"I am too old to die young, and too young to grow up," Marty Feldman told a reporter -- a week before he died.

This beloved comedian, who poked fun at himself, as well as others, was born Martin Alan Feldman on July 8, 1934, in London, England. His parents were of Ukrainian Jewish heritage (from ...

(1934–1982) (age 48)

Heart attack

98. Karen Carpenter

Soundtrack | Paul Williams Still Alive

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Karen Carpenter moved with her family to Downey, California, in 1963. Karen's older brother, Richard Carpenter, decided to put together an instrumental trio with him on the piano, Karen on the drums and their friend Wes Jacobs on the bass and tuba. In a battle of the...

(1950–1983) (age 32)

Heart failure caused by chronic anorexia

99. Fay Spain

Actress | The Godfather: Part II

She was your typical B-movie drive-in bad girl - sometimes blonde, sometimes brunette, always bodacious. A tease, a taunter and a temptress throughout most her career, Fay Spain was born in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1932. She headed to New York where she initially found summer stock work and a bit of ...

(1932–1983) (age 50)

Lymphatic cancer

100. Carolyn Jones

Actress | Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Carolyn Jones was born April 28, 1930, in Amarillo, Texas. Her mother was Jeannette and her sister was Bette (Moriarty). She was an imaginative child, much like her mother. In 1934, her father abandoned the family and her mother moved them in with her parents, also in Amarillo. As a child Carolyn ...

(1930–1983) (age 53)

Colon cancer



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