Shocking And So Sad: Celebrities Who Ended It All
Actor Andrew Koenig had many roles over the course of his career but was probably best known as “Boner” on the popular 1980s sitcom Growing Pains. He was also an activist for human rights and visited Burmese refugee camps in 2007.
In February 2010 Koenig traveled to Canada for the Olympics and failed to come home afterward. Friends and family found his body hanging from a tree in Vancouver several days after he was deemed missing.
Ray Combs, best known for the hit game show Family Feud, was a likable host and also worked as a stand-up comedian. Ray experienced some troubles in his marriage and even though he was the host of a hit television show, he was in a financial crisis.
He was placed under observation in the psychiatric ward of Glendale Adventist Medical Center. On June 2, 1996, Combs hung himself in one of the hospital’s closets.
The iconic fashion designer was afflicted with a condition that many creative people suffer from, depression. His friend David LaChapelle said that McQueen was, “very unhappy” right before he passed.
It all became too much to bear in 2010 when McQueen’s mother died. He took an overdose of drugs and hanged himself nine days after her death, leaving this note behind: “Look after my dogs, sorry, I love you, Lee.” He was only 40 years old.
The famous “Top Gun” director, Tony Scott died from multiple blunt force injuries and drowning from jumping off the bridge into the Los Angeles Harbor. Medical records revealed he had high levels of the anti-depressant Remeron and the sleep aid Lunesta in his system.
Officers found a note in his car, along with his contact information. Scott also left a letter to his family at his office. Although he didn’t reveal why he chose to kill himself, the family later disclosed that he had been suffering from cancer, and chose to keep the matter private.
One of the most iconic actresses of her time, it’s believed that the actress committed suicide by accident. There’s a massive conspiracy theory about the cause of her death. The dazzling blonde film star known for her voluptuous figure died from an overdose of barbiturates at the age of 36.
On August 5, 1962, Monroe’s housekeeper Eunice Murray woke up at three in the morning, sensing something was wrong. She found Monroe locked behind her bedroom door, unresponsive in her bed.
Lucy Gordon, the British actress and model who starred in films such as Spiderman 3 and Serendipity, was discovered dead in her Paris home in 2009. Gordon was said to be despondent over the recent suicide of a friend, and she hanged herself at the young age of 28, just two days before her 29th birthday.
She planned her suicide in a professional and rigid manner, rather than a hasty decision. Gordon wrote her will the day before, settling her estate.
Legendary American writer Ernest Hemingway was found dead of a shotgun wound in the head at his home in 1961. The writer, famous for works such as The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms, suffered from depression and alcoholism for quite some time.
His wife insisted that the death was an accident that happened when the writer had an accident while cleaning his weapon.
Wendy O. Williams
Innovative punk rock legend Wendy O. Williams was the singer for the band Plasmatics. With her unique look and Mohawk hairstyle, Williams paved the way for future female rockers.
She attempted suicide a couple of times during her life, and succeeded on April 6, 1998. She was 48.
On the morning of June 8, 2018, the world received the news that celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain had committed suicide overnight in his Strasbourg, France, hotel room. His body was discovered by a friend. Bourdain was 61 years old and left behind an 11-year-old daughter, Ariane.
Bourdain had made a name for himself with the book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, and then with several food and travel shows. He was in France to film episodes of his hit series Parts Unknown.
David Howells/Corbis via Getty Images
Fashion designer Kate Spade shocked the world when she committed suicide by hanging in early June 2018. Most famous for her beautiful handbags, Spade was only 55 years old when she was found dead in her New York City apartment.
She left behind a suicide note that she penned for her daughter, who she shares with Andy Spade. Her net worth was estimated at $150 million when she passed.
Jeff Alm, who played defensive tackle for the Houston Oilers, was in a car accident with his best friend in December 1993. Alm exited the vehicle following the crash, and saw that his friend had been killed.
He pulled a shotgun from the car and shot himself dead.
The rapper, who was famous for his “JerkTV” series on YouTube, eerily tweeted his sad thoughts as he prepared to commit suicide. He posted the following: “If there’s a God then He’s calling me back home. This barrel never felt so good next to my dome. It’s cold & I’d rather die than live alone.”
He also tweeted goodbyes to several loved ones before finally ending it all. Freddy E died from a self-inflicted rifle wound to the head in January 2013.
The tragic British novelist, who penned Mrs Dalloway, A Room of One’s Own, and To the Lighthouse, killed herself in dramatic fashion in 1941.
Woolf waded into a river near her home while carrying heavy rocks in her pockets. She drowned to death at the age of 59.
Child phenom Jonathan Brandis starred in several kids’ films such as The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter and Ladybugs, in which he acted alongside the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield.
Brandis was probably most famous for his role on SeaQuest. He struggled emotionally with dwindling acting prospects as he aged, and hung himself in 2003.
His suicide in 2014 turned out to be probably one of the most shocking ever. Robin Williams was one of the most famous actors in the world, with a very long career. The comic had a public battle with addiction and mental illness, and in 2014 was struggling after a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis and memory issues.
Williams took his own life on August 11, 2014.
Lee Thompson Young
Lee hit the big time when he was young, and appeared in many commercials, TV shows, and films. He even ended up starring in a popular Disney show. But he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and it seemed that the depressive episodes he experienced were just not tolerable.
In August 2013, at the age of 29, Lee was found dead in his apartment, the result of shooting himself in the head with a gun.
Hunter S. Thompson
“No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your (old) age. Relax — This won’t hurt.” “Gonzo journalist” Hunter S. Thompson left these words behind in his suicide note.
He was on the phone with his wife when he killed himself with a shot to the head. Actor Johnny Depp orchestrated the 2005 funeral, which included the writer’s ashes being shot from a cannon.
Within days of his 10th wedding anniversary, BMX legend Dave Mirra committed suicide at his best friend’s house. Shocked friends in his hometown of Greenville, North Carolina, said the famous biker had shown no outward signs of being depressed.
Mirra was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a neurodegenerative disease that contributes to depression, memory loss, and even dementia. The disease is common in athletes who sustain head injuries.
In 2007, Chris Benoit, a WWE wrestling superstar, committed suicide by hanging himself using a weight machine. He first murdered his wife and their his 7-year-old son, at their home in Fayetteville, Georgia.
Bibles were found near both victims. The wrestler suffered from brain damage due to receiving multiple head injuries while wrestling. This medical condition is said to have contributed to the tragic events.
Brian Keith of Family Affair and Parent Trap fame was a highly respected actor and loved by many. Keith ended up with emphysema and lung cancer, despite the fact that he had quit smoking a decade earlier.
He killed himself in June 1997, two months after his daughter’s death by suicide.
Johnny had climbed up onto the roof of his home after killing his 81-year-old landlady and her cat. The Sons of Anarchy star either jumped or fell to his death from the roof of his home.
He’d previously struggled with substance abuse, but there was no evidence of drugs in his system after his tragic death.
A child star from the television showDiff’rent Strokes, Dana Plato fell into drug addiction and committed suicide by taking an overdose of prescription medication in 1999.
Sadly, Dana’s son Tyler Lambert, committed suicide when he was 25 years old, eleven years after Dana died. Lambert killed himself with a shotgun blast.
The internet was rocked in 2013 with the news that famed computer programmer and “hactivist” Aaron Swartz had committed suicide. Swartz, who was only 26 at the time of his death, contributed to the development of such endeavors as RSS format webfeeds, Creative Commons, and the popular social news site Reddit.
His suicide was the result of a federal indictment for computer crimes he’d allegedly committed.
Freddie Prinze of Chico and The Man fame shot to stardom at a young age. He was hugely popular among the Spanish community. Prinze was exposed to drugs and dealers who hid out in the television business.
He eventually wrote a touching suicide note and ended it all on January 29, 1977, by shooting himself in the head.
Model, actress, and granddaughter of the legendary author Ernest, Margaux Hemingway was discovered dead in her apartment in July 1996 at the age of 41.
She’d intentionally overdosed on the drug phenobarbital and was discovered by friends days later. Hemingway is buried in the family lot in Idaho.
Deep-voiced and statuesque, Phyllis Hyman was a true soul singer. She killed herself on June 30, 1995, just a week before she would have turned 46 years old.
Phyllis was alone in her apartment in New York City when she took her own life. She overdosed on pentobarbital and secobarbital.
Tiny Fantasy Island actor Hervé Villechaize died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his Los Angeles home in 1993. He had suffered from health problems for years. His girlfriend found him dead in their backyard soon after he pulled the trigger.
Villechaize’s last professional appearance was on The Ben Stiller Show, where he had a cameo as himself.
It’s difficult to imagine being this poor guy. Rob died at the age of 33 from an overdose of alcohol and pills, after a prolonged struggle with addiction.
In the aftermath of Milli Vanilli’s 1989 lip-synching scandal, Rob Pilatus went from international superstar to being known worldwide as a fraud.
Brad Delp was best known as the lead vocalist of the popular rock band Boston. On March 9, 2007, Delp was found dead in his home. He’d sealed himself in a bathroom and had lit two charcoal grills.
The smoke from the grills killed him. When Delp died, he was laying on a pillow on the floor with a suicide note pinned to his shirt: “I am a lonely soul.”
Actress Laurie Bird, who starred in the movies Two-Lane Blacktop, Annie Hall and Cockfighter, committed suicide at the age of 25. Bird was musician Art Garfunkel’s girlfriend, and killed herself in the apartment they shared.
She left a suicide note explaining that she’d been depressed. Garfunkel later said that “[s]he was beautiful, in a lonesome, haunted way, and I adored her.”
Troubled country music singer Mindy McCready was famous for having several top-ten hit songs, including “Ten Thousand Angels,” “Guys Do It All the Time,” and “A Girl’s Gotta Do (What a Girl’s Gotta Do).”
Unfortunately, she was also well known for her personal issues, legal problems, and addictions. On February 17, 2013, she committed suicide on her front porch, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Sawyer Sweeten, best known for his role Geoffrey Barone of hit show Everybody Loves Raymond (alongside his real-life twin brother Sullivan), was visiting family in Texas, when he shot himself on the front porch.
It was reported that Sawyer’s suicide came as a result of despair about money problems, a failed showbiz career and bullying over gay rumors.
Justin Pierce was best known for his role in Kids, as Casper, but never got his acting career off the ground after the film. He appeared in few episodes of Malcolm in the Middle and in the film Next Friday.
Pierce hung himself in Las Vegas at the age of 25. He left two suicide notes which have not been released to the public.
Dermatologist to the stars Frederic Brandt hung himself in Miami in 2015, at the age of 65. With celebrities like Madonna as clients, Brandt himself achieved a level of fame, and his unusual appearance was mocked in popular culture.
Martin Short’s portrayal of Brandt on an episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is cited as a contributing factor to the suicide.
Misty Upham was a Native American actress who had a role in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Upham was discovered dead at the bottom of a cliff in 2014, and no one is sure whether it was a suicide or accident.
Her family is convinced she fell off the cliff by mistake while walking in the dark.
On June 16, 1959, Superman actor George Reeves committed suicide at the age of 45.
Although he didn’t leave a note behind, there’s plenty of suspicion that he was having a hard time grappling with a mid-life crisis as well as the show’s cancellation during the prior year.
Despite being the face of hit show Soul Train, Don Cornelius had some inner strife that most of his fans never knew about. He struggled with a variety of ailments and legal troubles for more than 30 years.
Tragically, Cornelius committed suicide at the age of 75, by shooting himself with a gun.
Notable American race car driver Dick Trickle was a larger-than-life personality. Famous almost as much for his amusing name and chain-smoking tendencies as for his impressive driving skills, Trickle sadly ended his life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound on May 16, 2013.
His family said he had been suffering with immense physical pain.
Brad Davis, the star of Midnight Express, had one hell of a tragic life. He was a victim of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of both parents. He says he turned to acting to channel that pain. He was an admitted alcoholic and drug abuser. Openly bisexual, he contracted AIDS in the 1980s but kept his illness a secret in order to continue working.
During the final stages of AIDS-related illnesses, Davis opted to kill himself. On September 8, 1991, with his wife and a friend present at his hospital bedside, he took an overdose of drugs. He was 41 years old.
Famous character actor Gig Young mostly played in supporting roles in films such as That Touch of Mink. He won an Oscar for the 1969 movie They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? In 1978, he married a journalist, Kim Schmidt, who was 33 years his junior.
On October 19 of that year, just weeks after they wed, Young killed Schmidt and himself in a murder-suicide.
Cathriona White, a makeup artist and actress, was most famous for her tumultuous romantic relationship with funnyman Jim Carrey. In September 2015, after a breakup, the 28-year-old killed herself and left a suicide note to Carrey, which read in part “I’m just not for this world.”
Her death spurred a series of accusations and lawsuits between Carrey, White’s family, and the man who was legally married to White at the time of her death.
James is best remembered for 1930s horror films, including Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, The invisible Man, and others. He also directed films such as “Show Boat”. Remarkably, James was an openly homosexual man throughout his career in the British theater and in Hollywood, something that was virtually unheard of in the 1920s and 1930s.
After suffering from some medical issues that left him in pain, Whale drowned himself in a swimming pool.