Whether from suicide, drugs, violence, health problems or accident, many actors have died young, including Freddie Prinze, Heath Ledger, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Lee Thompson Young and River Phoenix. The deaths of young people have also hit the music industry hard, with musicians Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G. and Aaliyah all dying before the age of 30.
Having starred in the television sitcom "Chico and the Man," comedian and actor Freddie Prinze died in 1977 at the age of 22. As the third season of the show was ending, Prinze succumbed to depression and committed suicide.
In hopes of shedding the perception that he was merely a pretty face, Heath Ledger chose character roles that met with immense praise and criticism. He played a small role in the 2001 film "Monster's Ball," and then starred in 2005's "Brokeback Mountain" and 2008's "The Dark Knight." After being found dead from an accidental overdose in his Manhattan apartment at the age of 28, he received more than 30 posthumous awards for his portrayal of the Joker in "The Dark Knight."
With a penchant for jazz, R&B, pop and soul, singer Amy Winehouse earned five Grammy awards for her 2006 album "Back in Black." At 16, she received her first big break into the music industry when her friend passed her demo on to his music label. At age 27, however, her career ended abruptly when she was found dead from alcohol poisoning.