The Most Tragic Celebrity Deaths of the Past Decade
It’s always sad when a celebrity passes on, but some deaths that are just downright tragic. Some celebrities just leave this world too soon, never again to grace fans with their talents. In this day and age, however, it can be hard to keep track of them all. Relive the saddest celebrity deaths you may have forgotten — or never knew about in the first place.
Robin Williams made people laugh for decades. His iconic roles in films like Flubber and Mrs. Doubtfire have left a permanent mark on entire generations. Fans were devasted when Williams passed away on August 11, 2014.
Amy Winehouse had a style and sound all her own. Despite her rising star, however, she passed away at the age of 27 in 2011. While her struggle with alcohol and drugs was relatively well-known, many fans didn’t know that she’d turned down psychiatric help out of fear that it would hinder her creativity.
Whitney Houston's voice and poise were legendary. She was truly a star loved the world over. Fans were devastated when she passed away in 2012. Some suspicious circumstances surrounded her death even though it was deemed accidental.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman starred in movies ranging from Capote to The Master and won awards for several of his roles on Broadway. Despite his successes, in 2014, Hoffman was found dead in his New York home at the age of 46.
Rock stars in general are no strangers to surprising deaths. David Bowie was 69 when he passed away after battling cancer in 2016, just days after he released new music. The singer had kept his condition a secret, which made his passing that much more shocking.
Michael Clarke Duncan
Michael Clarke Duncan dazzled audiences with a variety of acting roles over the years. One of his most memorable roles was in the film Green Mile. Off-screen, he was a positive person who embraced life and encouraged fans to do the same.
Paul Walker was truly a beautiful person. While he was deeply involved with charity work and even founded Reach Out Worldwide, a nonprofit that helps with disaster relief. He was also famed for his role in The Fast and the Furious and its sequels.
Alan Rickman didn't get his big break until he was 41 with the role of Hans Gruber in Die Hard. After that, he scored roles left and right, gaining a huge fan base and proving that dreams are possible at any stage of life. Sadly, in 2016, his life came to an end.
Carrie Fisher will always and forever be remembered as Princess Leia. After acting in Star Wars, she took roles in everything from The Blues Brothers to 30 Rock. She also produced memoirs, novels and one-woman plays.
The passing of Anton Yelchin, a promising young actor famed for movies such as Star Trek, shocked the world in 2016. In a freak accident, the actor was pinned against a brick mailbox pillar after his own Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his driveway in reverse.
Avicii dazzled fans with his amazing music. His real name was Tim Bergling, and even though his life was cut short, he generated a fortune with his music. Fame wasn't kind to him, though, as he battled depression and anxiety that led him to use alcohol excessively.
Back in 2016, fans all over the world grieved when Prince passed away. His cause of death was ruled as an accidental overdose of fentanyl. He was found in his Paisley Park home at the age of 57.
George Michael found fame first in the pop duo Wham! and later as a solo artist. While he suffered from substance abuse and was once arrested for public lewdness in a men’s bathroom, he was also prolific in charity work and became something of a gay icon.
Cory Monteith was best known for his role on the hit musical series Glee, although he also had a musical career in his own right. It was no secret that he had struggled with substance abuse issues. Sadly, his troubles began when he was just 13.
Gary Coleman was known for his comedy, both as an actor and writer Because of his roles on Diff’rent Strokes and other shows, he was even named one of the 100 greatest child stars on television by VH1. His death was particularly tragic because it was a complete accident.
Lee Thompson Young
The death of Lee Thompson Young was absolutely tragic. He was only 29 at the time but had already proven himself to be a talented actor through Friday Night Lights and The Famous Jett Jackson. He was in the middle of taping Rizzoli & Isles when he failed to show up for work.
Chris Cornell was best known as the lead vocalist for Soundgarden and Audioslave. He played a seminal role in the rise of grunge music and also produced many solo works and soundtrack contributions. In short, he was a rock ‘n’ roll legend.
Death is always tragic, but when somebody is taken so young, it's even more agonizing. That was the case in 2019 with actor Cameron Boyce. He had earned famed with roles like Luke Ross in Disney Channel’s Jessie, and all signs pointed to a promising career ahead.
In 2015, Star Trek fans' hearts were broken forever when Leonard Nimoy passed away. While the actor was 83 at the time of his death, Trekkies and Trekkers alike were nonetheless devastated. He was probably the single most beloved actor in all of Star Trek fandom.
Anthony Bourdain came to fame as a celebrity chef and author, but his greatest achievement was perhaps showing audiences that there is no part of the world without fantastic people and even better food in shows like Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
Luke Perry came onto the celebrity scene in the 90s with Beverly Hills 90210. He was known as a heartthrob then, but unlike many of his contemporaries, the actor didn't fizzle out. Instead, he continued to appear on popular shows and movies, including Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Joan Rivers was known for good taste and her ability to make people laugh. However, she was also known for her love of plastic surgery which unfortunately contributed to her death in 2014. Rivers went in for a relatively common and minor surgery and went into critical condition during the operation.
John Witherspoon was a comedian and actor who you may remember from the film Friday and as Robert Jebediah "Granddad" Freeman in The Boondocks. He always knew exactly what to say to make people laugh.
Mary Tyler Moore
Mary Tyler Moore was a television icon with a gorgeous smile. She was best known for her roles The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moor Show, the latter of which she created along with Allan Burns. although she had appeared in other work. Fans also knew Moore as an advocate for diabetes prevention, animal rights and vegetarianism.
Bill Paxton showed up in many, many hit films. He was in Titanic, Tornado, Big Love, Aliens and many more titles. He was an actor with a lot to give, but sadly, his life was cut short in 2017.
Elizabeth Taylor was one of the biggest names in Hollywood during the 1950s, starring in films like National Velvet, Father of the Bride, A Place in the Sun, Cleopatra, The Taming of the Shrew and more. She was also a successful businesswoman and earned more money selling perfume than she had during her entire film career — no small feat.
Both as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and as a solo act, Tom Petty was a force to be reckoned with. Having sold more than 80 million records over the course of his career, he was a true rock star in every sense of the word.
Mac Miller was on his way to becoming one of the greats in the music industry. The rapper, songwriter and producer hailed from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was on his way to a bright future. Sadly, in September of 2018, Mac Miller passed away.
Burt Reynolds was an actor, director and producer who delighted fans for years with his smooth style and sex appeal. He appeared in many television series and movies over the course of his career, although many first spotted the handsome actor in the cult classic Deliverance.
While James Gandolfini got his start in acting on Broadway, he was best known for his role as Tony Soprano on the HBO hit series The Sopranos. He also produced several documentaries.