Some celebrities are so beloved we wished they’d never gone away. Their entertainment pulled us away from reality and gave us a restful escape. Providing a unique outlet, their talents helped us tap into something we didn’t know existed. Whether through laughter, song, or an incredible performance; these celebrities showed us not only what it is to be human, but also inspired us to be better. Here are 25 Celebrity Deaths We Still Can’t Believe Are True.
Winning five Grammys for her 2006 album Back to Black, Amy Winehouse broke into the pop music scene at age 16 and blew up into a pop sensation. Despite her enormous talent, she struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, and it eventually caught up with her. She died at the young age of 27 to alcohol poisoning.
Michael Clarke Duncan
Known for his massive and muscular size, Michael Clark Duncan was a 6ft 5in and 300-pound star who seemed to propel to greatness after his performance in The Green Mile. Unfortunately, he tragically died of a heart attack at the age of 54.
Anton Yelchin was a great actor and a rising star taken from us too early. While he starred in big blockbusters like Star Trek, he also played leading roles in smaller films like The Green Room. Yelchin had a charm and humor we’ll all miss. He died at the age of 27 when his Jeep rolled down a steep driveway and pinned him against a brick mailbox pillar.
Adam West charmed us with his campy portrayal as Batman, zipping down poles, fighting villains with zany and bizarre tools, and putting up with Robin’s nonsense. His career took a bit of a dive after that, but his resurgence was a welcome one, showing up as the Mayor in the Fox comedy Family Guy. West died peacefully at 88 surrounded by his family and friends.
An early star of the rock ‘n’roll era, charming us all with his rhythm and blues style, Fats Domino had dozens of hits over the course of his career. Though he just recently passed, we already miss him. With 23 gold singles, he sold 65 million singles during that time and was considered second only to Elvis Presley. He passed away at his home in Louisiana at the age of 89.
Beloved for his many villainous roles such as Severus Snape, Hans Gruber, and the Sheriff of Nottingham, Alan Rickman was an exceptional actor with an uncanny ability to make us hate him on screen and love him off screen. He died at age 69 after a short battle with cancer.
Another actor renowned for his villainous roles was Christopher Lee. Perhaps most widely known as Saruman the White in the Lord of the Rings movies, Lee had a long career of playing the bad guy. In his life, he was knighted by the Queen of England, met J.R.R. Tolkien, and even led a heavy metal band in his old age. He died at the age of 93 from respiratory problems and heart failure.
Christopher Reeve had a great start to his acting career, being accepted into the prestigious Julliard School. Later, he charmed us with his positive and dashing portrayal as Superman, and for many, the two names will forever be synonymous with each other. Paralyzed after a horse racing accident, he died at the age of 52 from heart failure.
Chris Farley had a great talent for making our sides hurt from laughter. Creating unforgettable characters like the motivational speaker Matt Foley or Tommy Callahan in Tommy Boy, Farley’s talent for comedy was without question. He tragically died of an overdose in 1997. To this day, we all wonder where he would have gone next in his career.
Golden-globe winning and beloved actor Patrick Swayze was a bit of a heartthrob in the 80’s and 90’s, having starring roles in Red Dawn, Dirty Dancing, and Ghost. Though his career dwindled as time went on, we will never forgot the magic he brought to the screen. He was taken from us too soon when he died of pancreatic cancer in 2009.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman knew how to get into the skin of any of the characters he played. He frequently took on complicated roles and knocked them out of the park, receiving four other Academy Award nominations for his roles in The Master, Doubt, and Charlie Wilson’s War. He was found dead of acute mixed drug intoxication.
Legendary for his role as the Vulcan character Spock on the television show Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy compelled us to be rational, think critically, and above all, use logic. Other than acting, he was also an accomplished director, poet, and artist. He died at age 83 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
We loved his enthusiasm for wildlife on his show The Crocodile Hunter, which aired in over 200 countries. His dangerous adventures dazzled his audiences, and his charisma kept them coming back for more. Steve Irwin considered himself an educator, sharing his knowledge with his viewers. He was tragically taken too soon when a stingray struck him in the chest during one of his shoots.
John Candy got his start at SCTV with other comedians like Harold Ramis and Martin Short. However, we all know and love him from his roles in movies like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Uncle Buck, and Spaceballs. His lovable persona and knack for comedy made any movie he was in that much better. He struggled with his weight for many years and sadly died of a heart attack in his sleep in 1994 at age 43.
Legendary pop star David Bowie transcended music, art, and pop culture, setting out his own path and mixing many styles together. He inspired generations of music lovers and continued to change and transform his career as it grew. Two days after his 69th birthday, he died from battling cancer.
Singer and songwriter Whitney Houston mesmerized audiences with her outstanding voice. Releasing her first album at age 22, she scored three number one singles and skyrocketed to fame. She died at the age of 48 in 2012 due to accidental drowning.
Known as the “People’s Princess,” Princess Diana had widespread popularity and inspired people with her humanitarian efforts. She helped the homeless, children in need, and people living with HIV and AIDS. She tragically died in a car crash during her visit to Paris in 1997.
Strong, courageous, and not willing to back down, Carrie Fisher showed us a different kind of princess in Star Wars as the legendary Princess Leia. What people don’t know was she was also a talented screenwriter, helping revise scripts for Sister Act, Outbreak, and The Wedding Singer. Sadly, she died at the age of 60, suffering a major heart attack.
Paul Walker rose quickly as a teen heartthrob in movies like Varsity Blues, She’s All That, and The Skulls before appearing as Brian O’Conner in The Fast and the Furious. After completing seven films in the Fast and Furious franchise, Paul Walker died in a car accident in 2013. Furious 7 paid tribute to him, having his character ride off into the sunset.
Getting his start appearing on 10 Things I Hate About You, The Patriot, and A Knight’s Tale, Heath Ledger was pigeon-holed quickly as the pretty boy with no talent. However, he proved them all wrong with his performances in Monster’s Ball, Brokeback Mountain, and The Dark Knight. His performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight especially garnered him acclaim with winning a posthumous Academy Award for the performance. Tragically, he died of an accidental overdose in 2008.
At a young age, Michael Jackson enjoyed major success as a pop star in both the Jackson 5 and as a solo artist. He became quickly known as “The King of Pop” with No.1 hits from albums Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad. In his later career, he had been accused of child molestation and right before his comeback tour in 2009, he died of a drug overdose.
A widely talented singer, songwriter, and musician, Prince defied genre most of his career, blending and mixing different styles into his songs. He won seven Grammys with top 10 hits like “Little Red Corvette” and “When Doves Cry.” He died at his home in Chanhassen, Minnesota at the age of 57.
Bob Ross delighted a massive audience of art lovers on his show The Joy of Painting. Everyone especially loved his “happy trees” and his gentle and soft voice guiding them through the process of oil painting. He learned about the “wet-on-wet” painting technique in the Air Force and became a teacher himself. His show ran for more than a decade. In 1994, the show was canceled when he was diagnosed with lymphoma; he died a year later.
A puppeteer, ordained minister, and television producer, Fred Rogers entertained, delighted, and educated kids on his show Mister Rogers Neighborhood. He spoke on a range of topics and issues other shows weren’t touching and did it with kindness and respect. The show went on for 33 years, and he received several awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he was also inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. Diagnosed with stomach cancer, he died at his home in 2003.
Robin Williams started out as an improvisational stand-up comedian before landing on television and eventually in movies. His fast-paced and hilarious comedy bits plus his spot-on impersonations set him apart and made him a charming personality to watch. Outside of comedy, he also proved to be a compelling dramatic actor, winning an Academy Award for his performance in Good Will Hunting. In 2014, he was found dead at his home at age 63. He died of asphyxia due to hanging.
Photo: 25. Fionn Kidney, Amy Winehouse Kidney 2008, CC BY 2.0, 24. blackurbanite, MichaelClarkeDuncanJan09, CC BY-SA 3.0, 23. Georges Biard, Anton Yelchin Deauville 2011, CC BY-SA 3.0, 22. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 21.Klaus Hiltscher, Fats Domino 1977, CC BY-SA 2.0, 20. Marie-Lan Nguyen, Alan Rickman cropped and retouched, CC BY 2.0, 19. Manfred Werner – Tsui, Christopher Lee 2009, CC BY-SA 3.0, 18. Jbfrankel, C Reeve in Marriage of Figaro Opening night 1985, CC BY-SA 3.0, 17. IMDB.com (Fair Use: No Free Images Available), 16. Alan Light, Patrick Swayze, CC BY 2.0, 15. Georges Biard, Philip Seymour Hoffman 2011, CC BY-SA 3.0, 14. Gage Skidmore, Leonard Nimoy by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, 13. Richard Giles, aka User rich115 on Flickr, Steve Irwin, CC BY 2.0, 12. IMDB (Fair Use: No Free Images Available), 11. Arthur from Westchester County north of NYC, USA, at [email protected], David Bowie, CC BY-SA 2.0, 10. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 9. John MacIntyre, Princess Diana at Accord Hospice, CC BY 2.0, 8. Riccardo Ghilardi photographer, Carrie Fisher 2013, CC BY-SA 3.0, 7. m anima from San Jose, USA, Paul Walker, CC BY 2.0, 6. Howie Berlin, Heath Ledger, CC BY-SA 2.0, 5. Zoran Veselinovic, Michael Jackson in 1988, CC BY-SA 2.0, 4. penner, Prince at Coachella, CC BY-SA 3.0, 3. haiden goggin via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 2. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 1. Eva Rinaldi, Robin Williams (6451536411) (cropped), CC BY-SA 2.0