The Most Shocking, Heartbreaking Celebrity Deaths of All Time

By Jake SchroederLast Updated Apr 2, 2020 5:27:40 PM ET
Kobe And Gianna Bryant 1
Photo Courtesy: Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

It’s never easy to lose a Hollywood icon. Of course, you don’t know them personally, but you still feel connected to them through the connections you make with their characters or their music. Ridiculous or not, they feel like real friends. When a favorite star suddenly passes away, it can feel like losing a beloved family member, especially if you currently "connect" with them each week on TV or on the radio.

Memorable talents like Whitney Houston, Robin Williams, Prince and Luke Perry left the world abruptly and without any warning. Fans were shocked at the news, and it took time to recover. Learn about some of the most shocking celebrity deaths and how people reacted to the unfortunate news.

Kate Spade

The world was shocked when fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead of an apparent suicide in her NYC apartment on June 5, 2018, at the age of 55. Following her death, her husband, Andy Spade, released a statement: "She was actively seeking help and working closely with doctors to treat her disorder. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock."

53v1b0ucfgcn5ae8bridhswzrgwcunkjxoxtkaukgnkbgigyfricjmf Subxgpbc4uvz7h 4r80tu903zstnx4bwittpv2jr88sr3tmqanalpsnzwpp1qi Ixkui5e6ajvlipc6mhb9oaotgbw
Photo Courtesy: David Howells/Corbis/Getty Images

One of Spade’s fashion brands, Frances Valentine, continues to honor the designer’s legacy with a collection of designs affectionately called "Love Katy." The fashion line plans to continue Spade’s designs and inspirations.

Anthony Bourdain

Within days of Kate Spade’s suicide, Anthony Bourdain also died of an apparent suicide on June 8, 2018. The celebrity chef and travel documentarian, who was the star of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, became a voice of authority on the exploration of international culture and cuisine throughout his career.

Gppk0jdltzpljx919jnxjp6c Ucjsgd Vvzzwagmql5aquczjwfteeqglj Ignoq 0b4pq Tdz3eqiwsp0xxwysvnnbzpiu9r3qfu0g7o175x1og61hvfauxpgm5o3ktknv Fjdy2wtlqup6cw
Photo Courtesy: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Bourdain's suicide was an immediate shock to family, friends and his devoted fans. "His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink, and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller," CNN said. Bourdain was working on an episode of Parts Unknown at the time of his death.

Cameron Boyce

No one could have expected Cameron Boyce’s death on July 6, 2019, at age 20. The Disney Channel alum, who starred in Jessie and the Descendants movie series, died in his sleep due to a seizure. The seizure was the result of an ongoing medical condition.

Ahvqbio0gpktdor047uwggkd Fy15awlbhxgrfbrdjpwyil6mteerklllz8gyi5ffaoi Gxmqbxet54arxnhutwhp8a2hfsciwptddzthwtj6ca0vmeon8htegb Do0wzygzwwm4ygden Rp4a
Photo Courtesy: John Sciulli/Getty Images for Thirst Project

Boyce’s family released a statement: "The world is now undoubtedly without one of its brightest lights, but his spirit will live on through the kindness and compassion of all who knew and loved him." Descendants 3, released on August 2, included a special, heartfelt tribute dedicated to Boyce. Needless to say, his fans couldn't stop crying while watching the movie.

Alan Thicke

Alan Thicke, best known for playing Dr. Jason Seaver on the 1980’s sitcom Growing Pains, died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 69 on December 13, 2016. The actor was playing ice hockey with his son, Carter Thicke, at Pickwick Gardens in Burbank, California, when he collapsed.

Un Nbyy3lgd1pyfl91pmeg Axsdlmjbwx J0detc4npvrdp2 Q 36 6y6db Id62zbd 6tzzrs9 R9zvdrmjzko Yvgrnkshjth6vt6piqtnhy9ityfhbovwtjtijbeoh6ki4ifrqa99o0miba
Photo Courtesy: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

At the time of his death, Thicke was working on two films released in 2017: It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway and The Clapper. Another son, pop singer Robin Thicke, said his father was "the greatest man I ever met" and that he was "always a gentleman."

Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

Carrie Fisher’s death was probably one of the most heartbreaking and shocking deaths in recent years. The Star Wars actress died at the age of 60 on December 27, 2016, from cardiac arrest. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) feature Fisher posthumously.

Oct7 Ev6yytitjgizxvmgfnuehllufvrc720qyrq74b2borek 1hdeug2v U4odfiq11wmhe888nldpzr2x4k6uxm89 H6iuat3nhgurcfoknw0p03y0acqrbdd3rulmhpqia2rn1bdt0i55ta
Photo Courtesy: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

As if that wasn’t heartbreaking enough, just one day later, on December 28, Fisher’s iconic mother, Debbie Reynolds, passed away at the age of 84 from an apparent stroke. Before her death, Reynolds said, "I want to be with Carrie." Cue the tears and bring on the tissues.

Paul Walker

Unfortunately, Paul Walker’s death on November 30, 2013, was a little ironic. The actor, known for The Fast and the Furious franchise, felt the need for speed in his popular movies, but he should have left that need in the fictional world instead of speeding down a city street with his friend, Roger Rodas, following a charity event. The car collided with a pole and was immediately engulfed in flames.

Ouz Nhggee6o7g43ewbmpwsgh4bjew8a80rike4 Rzpy8gnaoubbw1g6syxauo3t7iu K6rkot4xjzhv 9hktfcuqisgevhhwyfu8fbkkd9m A23kmxkqnzlr3ykoteelbnenypod9x3pvbpnq
Photo Courtesy: Chris Polk/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The actor was filming Furious 7 at the time of his death. The film, released in 2015, was dedicated to him, and fans were quite emotional while watching it. Walker’s costar, Vin Diesel, shared a tribute, saying Walker will "always be in our hearts."

Bill Paxton

Bill Paxton starred in many popular films in the ‘80s and ‘90s, including Titanic, Tombstone, Apollo 13, Twister and Aliens. In the 2000s, Paxton starred in the HBO drama series Big Love as well as 2014’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He seemed to be in perfect health, but everything changed in February 2017.

Crwuj8yobk3z2l5r Ubqovwhryurrtdw7euh92dkdgg8k6bwrg0ulrfd0mwp5afif1lca6j3geknt R7zae0opkagk Gb Ks0rioynui1aze6ikbw1f6t30gi5di6y7 88 Axomqcgtwlpe3kg
Photo Courtesy: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Critics' Choice Television Awards

It came as a shock to fans when it was announced that the actor died of a stroke on February 25, 2017, at 61 years old, shortly after a successful heart surgery. Following his death, many celebrities reacted to the news, including James Cameron, Tom Hanks and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Cory Monteith

No one could have anticipated Cory Monteith’s death on July 13, 2013. He was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room from an overdose of heroin and alcohol. The Glee actor was vocal about his past struggles with addiction and substance abuse.

E2ktzpvshziqhrstqscyhxd4p9cjryvcabpaeezol5p Oxdqc Kunzyrtvjg7yvrjagvfx2x15cqp21eqdximndtn8yynb0a9g 6ckflju1ja8ard9ctxdgjxseiptetqdci8xru0pb6nboag
Photo Courtesy: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Following his death, his fellow Glee co-stars shared loving tributes to the actor. Lea Michele, Monteith’s costar and girlfriend, wrote, "Cory will forever be in my heart." Jane Lynch said Monteith had "one of the biggest hearts." Glee’s third episode in its fifth season served as a tribute to the loss of both Monteith and his character, Finn Hudson.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment on February 2, 2014. The Oscar-winning actor — for his portrayal of Truman Capote in Capote — was known for playing lowlifes and misfits, but fans didn’t expect he would die of a heroin overdose at the age of 46.

Anszzffqetqhl4wm5x Ls6womgrlrchi71b5 B Apos Jr0xfi8mimblg9ru91ygtnltpx4cen6n Ww1ftjtyogsgu1 1eywi4auy3majbym8annieluddbrrcflblwf0g3jnpo0rv42q40tia
Photo Courtesy: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Hoffman, an admitted drug addict, was remembered by several of his famous friends, including Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Joaquin Phoenix, Michelle Williams and Amy Adams. His unexpected death was lamented by fans and the film industry, and it was described by several commentators as a considerable loss to Hollywood.

Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith’s death on February 8, 2007, was so shocking that fans believed there had to be more to her death than an apparent accidental overdose. The former Playboy model was found dead in her hotel room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Ogqnbuhiiwgee Oyrwsmodmfcyqksjxzk2xvmg1lfqcowi Jxmnt9uhakbgpty Sacdoadcgq6xukb0datioh4pgczb4pzf9yoxx3kt0w1f6thh3jplubfiahpyrapmtdwxvhlmkx4 Y7iv3ha
Photo Courtesy: L. Cohen/WireImage/Getty Images

A seven-week investigation followed to determine the exact cause of her sudden death. Was it a suicide? Was it a homicide? Was it from natural causes? It was ultimately decided that her death was due to an accidental overdose, but some people still have their suspicions. Will the world ever know what really happened?

Marilyn Monroe

Very few celebrities are more iconic than Marilyn Monroe. The "blonde bombshell" of the ‘50s and ‘60s dazzled everyone, so it was unbelievably heartbreaking when she unexpectedly died on August 4, 1962, at just 36 years old. Monroe was beautiful and talented. What happened to her?

Fl5s83aqgfax0ln6zgejmq9bhxzwctrijwxndnf2mfzitye9ahkvcn7ex0w0n Tpdoljkxtm Zferoky82g2pgxlwhljjwqqpfectpchqecvspkhcp8e63vo Fykig1j8omu4bn Tszhiazxmq
Photo Courtesy: Alfred Eisenstaedt/Pix Inc./The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Unfortunately, she led a troubled life that wasn’t portrayed in her famous movies. She struggled with substance abuse, depression and anxiety. She died in her home from an overdose of barbiturates. However, many people believe her death was more likely a homicide than a suicide. Do you believe in the conspiracy theories as well? Regardless, Monroe died way too soon.

Kobe Bryant

At just 41 years old, NBA legend Kobe Bryant died tragically on January 26, 2020, after a helicopter carrying him and eight other passengers crashed near Calabasas, California. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna was one of the other passengers. Entering the NBA right after high school, Bryant, an 18-time All-Star and 15-time member of the All-NBA team, played the entirety of his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kobe And Gianna Bryant
Photo Courtesy: Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Throughout his career, Bryant broke several shooting records and led the Lakers to a whopping five NBA championship titles. Off the court, Bryant was a complicated figure: In the early 2000s, allegations of sexual assault against him came to light. Later on, Bryant committed his time to advocating for the WNBA, founding Kobe, Inc., becoming a philanthropist and even producing an Oscar-winning animated short, Dear Basketball. There’s no doubt that Bryant’s family, friends and fans suffered a tremendous loss.

Steve Irwin

Known as The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin wrestled with dangerous, wild animals all his life. Fans probably wouldn’t have been surprised to hear a crocodile caused his death on September 4, 2006, at age 44, but that isn’t what happened. Instead, Irwin’s heart was pierced by a poisonous stingray barb while filming a documentary called Ocean’s Deadliest.

Pz0tmerigopz6h3jecqksz57is Rdkgzvn9r Df2ksliaz7zcm19y82p Flhii5oyhtgdphgrtac90kpamapjb Puwnrm 26szhnjdxsyt6jezaczotprwschnuxr8w218g8 Yoz5m7d Bindw
Photo Courtesy: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Despite his dangerous lifestyle, news of his death shocked everyone around the world. Irwin was supposed to survive all his crazy interactions with animals. Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard said, "Australia has lost a wonderful and colorful son." Thankfully, his family — Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin — have carried on his legacy at Australia Zoo.

James Dean

In the 1950s, everyone was shocked at the sudden death of Hollywood heartthrob James Dean. The Rebel Without a Cause actor died in a car accident on September 30, 1955, at just 24 years old. He is remembered as an icon of teenage disillusionment.

Pjsfkovqfc0zfj7yvoafm3dvlb3yhjaoamhturcackwoke3fztadsbufbfierffa9ppzrcosjiinhiq9 O Jlcv38md4 Hwl Fcatvgvjubfw0q4kk Hxvxytu Z6q8ovmddacwjx546dw Tna
Photo Courtesy: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Humphrey Bogart commented on his death, "Dean died at just the right time. If he had lived, he’d never have been able to live up to his publicity." Dean was the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for East of Eden. He also received a posthumous nomination for Giant, his final film role.

Amy Winehouse

On July 23, 2011, famed British soul singer Amy Winehouse was found dead inside her London apartment. She was popular with fans who loved her deep, expressive contralto vocals. Fans could relate to her music, and Winehouse has remained one of the most iconic singers of the modern era.

Fycldvl Liqhucgbz5dpbkny7tvweqn2foazkcsfuuzskiaadbyqkiecxzh7wkjjd66uxlfdhfehusztbtnse8wqyn7 Oi7s8aamexymr Pfqkhtqemqqwbc9hmorm95tq1mbvyklsggp6xolq
Photo Courtesy: Daniel Boczarski/Redferns/Getty Images

Unfortunately, Winehouse was plagued by drug and alcohol addiction, and her death was a result of alcohol toxicity from consuming too much alcohol. After her death was announced, crowds gathered outside her London residence to pay their respects. Following her death, Winehouse’s father said, "Goodnight, my angel, sleep tight. Mummy and Daddy love you ever so much."

Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy’s death left a lot of mysterious unanswered questions regarding exactly what happened to the Clueless star. On December 20, 2009, she died at age 32 after collapsing inside her Los Angeles home. She was transported to the hospital, where she went into cardiac arrest. Her death was ruled "natural" at the time.

Kkksk Wylks1qs Fxlroshfw Oj3 Yp4a08wdzsok9aeaa3gpkwiwobh7zt64ylywehqe3sktrfnk0f8dmc0j7io5ipxl14kt4gtvfqakujesk44qlopeqwbjhqis2tdi9rdgu9zlo8ub Oorq
Photo Courtesy: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Fans and family members have never been convinced that’s true. Murphy’s father claimed she was murdered, possibly by her husband, Simon Monjack. No evidence backed up that accusation, but Monjack was found dead at the same residence five months later on May 23, 2010. Does that seem suspicious to you?

John F. Kennedy Jr.

John F. Kennedy Jr. had always been the subject of media scrutiny since his father’s assassination on November 22, 1963 — three days before the younger Kennedy’s third birthday. He became a popular social figure in his 20s and 30s, and he worked as a talented lawyer.

Eqi3wb5fg6pdtza3 Mszue5gc30eubrhjadjebrwmoux0quxv Jg8lmhf9wze0kzsjcxysnu49aphskn Wql1ioykr3an1w8ssk4yh19v9xlordsfs9qbcwlep3vin9zbdptm Y1pjwwvmhvg
Photo Courtesy: Brooks Kraft LLC/Sygma/Getty Images

On July 16, 1999, Kennedy was flying his light aircraft with his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette. The plane crashed, and America was saddened to hear of the loss of another member of the Kennedy family. President Bill Clinton offered his support to the family during yet another troubling time.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley achieved many accomplishments during his short life. He had numerous hit singles, including Love Me Tender, Can't Help Falling in Love and Jailhouse Rock. On August 16, 1977, Presley’s girlfriend, Ginger Alden, found him unresponsive. He died of an apparent cardiac arrest brought on by complications from prescription drug abuse.

6 Lmz66rkdkadwrngak W0fskj7dejtqfmqr6np6omduwvjq0ywxm Lwca6kafbqmlpunkp Uhivydezuvuhhnppkhyxpm7lwiu1yacga0kcijmc4jdsi9azrzglouoeg7mvjugp7s94acbfxq
Photo Courtesy: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

At the time of his death, President Jimmy Carter reflected that Presley "permanently changed the face of American popular culture." Thousands of fans gathered outside his famous Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. Six posthumous singles were released from 1977 to 1981. Fortunately, Presley had worked on music up until the very end.

John Ritter

John Ritter, the hilarious star of Three’s Company, was praised by many for his dynamic physical comedy. In fact, comedian Don Knotts — another icon of physical comedy — said Ritter was the "greatest physical comedian on the planet."

Xelsrx6djiuybtynqz6gog1sxdtoj2bpfglxvuqph32ahjnoohc 8hmiwcem93aibcu X 0i8qt Akyckw8yh Jwadjijqviywcchyboytditotbr3ii6ulbdg5walgpd6v Dmp6ivchbbcama
Photo Courtesy: Art Zelin/Getty Images

On September 11, 2003, fans were shocked to learn Ritter had passed away at the age of 54. He was rehearsing for his sitcom, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, when he collapsed on the set. He was diagnosed with an aortic dissection and died during surgery. Ritter’s death was written into his sitcom, and fans and celebrities, including his Three’s Company costar Suzanne Somers, mourned his loss.

Sonny Bono

There have been very few musical duos like Sonny & Cher. The couple had numerous hits as a singing and married duo, with the most recognized being their 1965 hit single I Got You Babe. Later in his life — and years after their divorce — Bono was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent California’s 44th congressional district.

Zomjzt07qneyelkr Oqsxtbyumqsezxhfyueyrzf3xhme Wggorcaspr5a4zioblasmcflsptsttsyola6aeyj5s0j7ryk40slz8oujegyhczqxs2wbesznotgswqft8ddtlzd2emjrzukgpvq
Photo Courtesy: Harry Langdon/Getty Images

On January 5, 1998, Bono died when he hit a tree while skiing near South Lake Tahoe, California. Cher reflected, "When I was young, there was this section in the Reader’s Digest. It was called ‘The Most Unforgettable Character I’ve Ever Met.’ And for me, that person is Sonny Bono. That person will always be Sonny for me."

Natasha Richardson

Natasha Richardson died on March 18, 2009, at age 45. The actress felt like everyone’s favorite mother, especially for those who grew up watching her as Elizabeth James in the beloved 1998 family film The Parent Trap.

Vlr559e9g404jzqcdyspajfjv4jjyx8vxlprih2iqyotpbgjuzgyc3dhp5g9kseut1bc 0hiadeexrryj6nma5t40bqkuqtiwxjjk9 Fyonuop63r8crkqnzhc4d6ghi1v3bjmx9qvmlz 3frg
Photo Courtesy: Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic/Getty Images

It came as quite a shock when it was announced that Richardson died from an epidural hematoma following a tragic skiing accident in Quebec, Canada. At the time, she was working on the 2010 film The Wildest Dream. Her husband, actor Liam Neeson, commented, "She brought me so much joy. She was my everything. Those 16 years of being her husband taught me how to love unconditionally."

Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman had a celebrated career before his death on January 14, 2016, at age 69. He delighted audiences in Die Hard, Sense and Sensibility and a variety of other films. However, to today’s generation, he’s probably best known for playing Severus Snape in the acclaimed Harry Potter film franchise.

Crhmsx23pqiueueahovddbka Gz2mgr0dlzdwzagmbuljjhhkjveqcovmic7lqhlzgmjedk4cwlzuogmmunvxy0puvqatvqkrohbxlgemr4ifs1 N9t72da9k6tehnnmrtq8j5o2jgr8 Xd7zg
Photo Courtesy: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Only close friends and family knew Rickman had pancreatic cancer before his death. That’s why fans were shocked — they had no idea he had terminal cancer. Fans were saddened along with Rickman’s Harry Potter costars. Emma Watson wrote, "I feel so lucky to have worked and spent time with such a special man and actor."

Natalie Wood

We still don’t really know what happened to Natalie Wood. The West Side Story actress drowned at age 43 on November 29, 1981, while on a weekend boat trip to Catalina Island. It has never been determined how Wood entered the water, and it remains one of Hollywood’s greatest unsolved mysteries.

Lrmpu49mhtil0qcxzfflswnps3jhez38lkjmzqa5sbwb7w1 Hlcvykczulwb86s9fycvrh067roqi4ixcd8pb Igbgogejay82qaixcryla9myjtz1tg7vga F8vt9 Pfxsfuzxl4w6hm6txsg
Photo Courtesy: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Wood’s sister, Lana, said Wood was "terrified" of water all her life, and she never would have left the yacht on her own. So, what really happened? Did her husband, actor Robert Wagner, have something to do with her death? Or was it one of the other two men on board? Fans were shocked at Wood’s death, and they remain intrigued by the mystery.

Luke Perry

Very recently, Luke Perry died on March 4, 2019, at 52 years old. The 90210 star suffered a massive stroke at his home in Sherman Oaks, California, on February 27, followed by a second stroke soon after that. He never regained consciousness, and fans mourned the loss of one of the greatest heartthrobs of the 1990s.

Aptdsczetfohmjbm2anepr7y6th9zrvj 45uhozsiqedb1pqfjvghj9dehgqwdy8wwoqnxu21 Anp98 Oac3yp7tc Wwpx4as4gj2nn4ezwzu0vsq7w945sr2gtyhjxtt8yimdo9ot93fvmdfq
Photo Courtesy: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Perry was filming the fourth season of the teen drama Riverdale at the time of his death. The show’s season premiere was a tribute to the late actor, and all future episodes will be dedicated to Perry. In addition, Perry’s 90210 costars paid tribute to him in that show's recent reboot.

John Lennon

John Lennon is perhaps one of the greatest musicians and songwriters of all time. A member of the British rock band The Beatles, Lennon went on to achieve success in his solo career in the ‘70s.

Ya6p1kmvmigwbokvwmpfnc0ekjtteqizuzc3fapou31n97tkdn02bsd0hafdj3qqx2f6zmcrbcunlya2yfeij0ji Fjxmlclnvo4xucx9zybbrxe6o Oxzi8qwjytl0sp Ojzrm8sh Pd6yybq
Photo Courtesy: Max Scheler - K & K/Redferns/Getty Images

On December 8, 1980, Lennon was tragically assassinated by Mark David Chapman outside his Manhattan apartment at age 40. His wife, Yoko Ono, commented after his death, "John loved and prayed for the human race. Please do the same for him." Fans could hardly believe the news. At the time of his death, Lennon was working on an album, Milk and Honey, that was released posthumously in 1984.

Heath Ledger

On January 22, 2008, Heath Ledger was found unconscious in his Manhattan apartment. The actor, most recognized for his work in 10 Things I Hate About You, The Dark Knight and Brokeback Mountain, had battled drug addiction in the past. Ranked as 2008’s top entertainment news story, Ledger’s death was ruled an accidental drug overdose, but many fans and mourners are still convinced foul play was involved.

7n2otdqi Pghfls4eadyw8vg84zv7i Obavgkw5ydw Caskcg1wbp35po2azkhp0nsrkaezoewoa8f Iz3qbtklief6xb0qey Jqjxsy7yfotbinmzeh0vtjtk3b6d67cdsw90ied Zviu6gjq
Photo Courtesy: Bob Riha Jr/WireImage/Getty Images

A few months before his death, Ledger had finished filming for his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight. He received many posthumous accolades for the performance, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Like many great actors, Ledger’s legacy will always live on in some amazing performances.

Whitney Houston

It seemed impossible that Whitney Houston died on February 11, 2012, at age 48. The iconic Grammy Award-winning pop singer was found dead in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, allegedly the victim of drowning due to drug intoxication.

9soet Qa38opnjww0aylvucklnvdr4r6qtgvuz1qpx K1c Ge10lpc56ltk4negmzo Ug2j6qvhjwgs1csptburobbs0rfzcupf8spughfteeigqhskjmstgpkepwyh1zhor8hcnxehx94aow
Photo Courtesy: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Fans and celebrities mourned the death of the vocal legend and wanted answers. Dolly Parton, whose song "I Will Always Love You" was covered by Houston, said, "I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song." The late Aretha Franklin also said, "It’s so stunning and unbelievable." Some fans still express grief and outrage over Houston’s death today.


Prince, the Grammy Award-winning singer who released 39 amazing studio albums, died suddenly on April 21, 2016, at age 57, at his Paisley Park residence in Chanhassen, Minnesota. The "Purple Rain" singer died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, and his death completely shocked and devastated his fans.

2vol6xbm7cllyva1vvycurlrp Fvc6thisuhq0g6ffklfrfro 6f 5zdxtidl5bwyhmocoid6qq89gvx0tz5ta5ztq4qytombqiephitta5vgoy4ce1q6iflzbkoejp4wnveft9gvtbwv Xaoq
Photo Courtesy: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Following his death, landmarks all over the world were lit with special purple lights to honor the singer. Other musicians celebrated his career, including Justin Timberlake, who said, "We have lost our greatest living musician, but his music will never die." That’s definitely true. In fact, albums are still being released posthumously of the musician’s later work.

Princess Diana of Wales

People from around the world were stunned when they heard the news that Princess Diana of Wales died in a tragic car accident on August 31, 1997, at age 36. The crash happened in the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel in Paris, France. The initial investigation concluded that the crash was caused by the driver, Henri Paul, who was apparently driving intoxicated.

Ttsbpnkwx9npcb3nokn1itoevvmsmizoshpiqq9tgff2whx01jynib9cf3w Fnc2g25yijkpv4kwptgzbfciifxy4w2l1s3ksi1x71soq3jsno485amsueuy1t8m0nbpf8uca0ulvt5ffubm1g
Photo Courtesy: Anwar Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

Regardless of what actually happened — dozens of conspiracy theories exist for her death — Princess Diana’s sudden, unexpected death shocked the world. Elton John revised parts of "Candle in the Wind" as a tribute to the late princess. Considering two young boys were left without a mother, her death is still one of the most heartbreaking deaths in celebrity history.

Michael Jackson

When news broke that Michael Jackson had died, it was a national tragedy. He died suddenly at the age of 50 after suffering a cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009, and his death led to an intense investigation that ultimately resulted in a homicide ruling. Jackson’s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, gave the "Thriller" singer the drug propofol to help him sleep.

6fhlmfkqrpizcqwlly6dexhlfr4sajrzy2gfujiaxcdebzimjvyu3fppvmm4swhgxfjioaohardlkbpcudxwx5ix15qh8lqdoqbkkfqccze Jwcs6ze0ftbk7dgzgehqihlg3f82b8p Po4d5w
Photo Courtesy: Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

Jackson’s sister Janet was "grief-stricken and devastated at the sudden loss of her brother." Fellow ‘80s pop star Madonna commented, "The world has lost one of its greats, but his music will live on forever."

Robin Williams

Robin Williams’ death might be one of the more shocking and upsetting deaths on this list. He committed suicide on August 11, 2014, at age 63. The acclaimed comedian, known for huge hits like Mrs. Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting, suffered from depression and substance abuse issues throughout his life.

0sw4jhqkrht Vwfxnom9qw Xuodhw3fd875kt Eneztnazghgu6dlckglqh3qsxoelwq16f969ksyvzhanvqy0lifuheg Abkbk75ljigbwjwv2vv Aqz3en5gp8klw7qtwnfrs5pedi2aw Qq
Photo Courtesy: Lalo Yasky/WireImage/Getty Images

Williams' death was instant global news, and fans couldn’t believe it. How could someone so funny be so unhappy? His daughter, Zelda Williams, reflected that the "world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence." Williams’ suicide also served as a reminder that even comedians who make people laugh could be suffering and crying on the inside.