Gone Too Soon: Unexpected Celebrity Deaths in the Last 10 Years
Living in the public eye is something all celebrities learn to handle. They pick up coffee, do their shopping and travel, all with cameras trained on them as the world watches their every move. It's easy to think that the lives of celebrities are far easier and much more interesting than the lives of regular people, but they still face challenges — it’s just far different challenges.
For one thing, they still live — and die — like the rest of us, suffering losses and facing their own demons along the way. In some cases, their lives and deaths are exceptionally tragic. Let’s take a look at some unexpected losses in the last 10 years that really hurt.
Robin Williams spent the better part of his life making millions of fans laugh, cry and feel the emotions of his countless memorable characters. Throughout his career, he played a headstrong professor, a fun-loving doctor and a 10-year-old in a grown man's body, just to name a few.
The award-winning singer Amy Winehouse combined her unique contralto vocals with different styles of music, including blues, jazz and soul. She came from a family of musicians and started working on her music early in her childhood. She ended up battling drug addiction and mental illness following the death of her grandmother, and this led to a spiral into a life of rehab and relapse.
David Bowie led a wild and adventurous rock and roll life. He was both a successful musician and actor, and he made headlines all over the world for his unique style of music and ever-changing persona. He coined the term "glam-rock" and came out as bisexual in the '70s, with his wife claiming that he once had a relationship with Mick Jagger.
Paul Walker was best known for his role as Brian O'Conner in the wildly successful The Fast and The Furious franchise. He shot to stardom racing fast cars on screen, and his love of fast cars and speed ultimately killed him.
Whitney Houston was a pop music icon whose career spanned the course of several decades. Her powerful vocals and strong stage presence shot her to stardom in the ‘80s, and her tumultuous private life kept her name constantly in headline news. She had domestic issues with her husband and a drug problem, both of which threatened her career during the '90s.
Chris Cornell was the frontman for not just one, but two bands — Audioslave and Soundgarden. His musical success kept him in the public eye, and he worked on several solo projects during the time he toured with his bands.
Cory Monteith was a Canadian actor who became instantly recognizable due to his role as Finn Hudson on Glee and his highly publicized relationship with actress Lea Michele. The actor struggled with substance abuse and addiction from the age of 13. At 19, his mom forced him into rehab.
Anthony Bourdain was a well-known foodie who traveled the world in search of new flavors, cultures and human experiences to share with the world on his show Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. The celebrity chef, author and world traveler first became famous for his writing, but his on-screen charisma was where he truly shined.
Luke Perry was well known to older audiences for his role on Beverly Hills 90210 in the ‘90s, and he was introduced to younger generations on Riverdale. The actor and former teen idol was widely loved across the world.
Carrie Fisher is best known for her portrayal of the tough yet feminine Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise. The actress and writer became an icon for girls and boys everywhere after the first film in the franchise blew up and turned into a cultural phenomenon.
Kate Spade was an iconic fashion designer. She made her fortune by creating clothes and accessories that were simple, beautiful and fun. The happy designs landed her a coveted spot in the top tier of the high-fashion business, and she became a household name for her flirty styles.
Tom Petty shot to stardom in the '70s as the frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. His highly successful music career landed him and the Heartbreakers a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, and he thrived as both a solo artist and as part of a band.
Most fans remember Anton Yelchin for his portrayal of Pavel Chekov in the reboot of the Star Trek franchise. He was a talented actor and had been in the business since he was 11 years old, starring in both big blockbuster films and thought-provoking indie movies.
American rapper, singer and songwriter Mac Miller was best known for his unique stylistic music and highly publicized relationship with singer Ariana Grande. Miller was widely successful, and just before his death, it appeared that he was at the pinnacle of an upward swing in his career.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman was a true talent. He started his career in '91 and continued to appear in various supporting character roles. He made it big playing the antagonist and won an Oscar for his mesmerizing portrayal of Truman Capote in the film Capote.
Chester Bennington was the frontman for Linkin Park and was revered for his powerful vocals since the band's first commercially successful album was released in 2000. He also caught the acting bug and appeared in films like Saw 3D and Crank.
As a true Disney Channel superstar, Cameron Boyce was best known for his roles in Descendants and Grown-Ups. He started his career appearing in Panic at the Disco music videos, and his career appeared to be just beginning.
Mindy McCready was an American country music singer. She had worked in the industry since '95 and had five studio albums, with her debut album certified double platinum. Personal problems in the singer's life had caused her career to stall at the time of her death.
Gary Coleman had perhaps one of the most tragic lives in Hollywood. He was given up for adoption when he was just one day old, and he suffered from an atrophied kidney as a young child. He disappeared from the spotlight as he grew older and his successful career as a child actor ended.
Another rock star on the list, Scott Weiland was best known as the frontman of Stone Temple Pilots. His impressive career spanned the course of 30 years, and he contributed to more than six bands.
Born as Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, Nate Dogg was an American rapper, singer, songwriter and actor best known for his deep voice and collaborations with stars like Snoop Dog, Tupac, Dr. Dre, Eminem and 50 Cent. He was called the "pioneer of G-funk."
Alan Rickman trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, so he was pretty much a shoo-in for commercial success as an actor. He was nominated for his first acting role in 1985 and shot to fame shortly after.
Tim Bergling, or Avicci as he is known to fans, was a Swedish DJ that shot into the mainstream after working with David Guetta in 2012. He is a winner of a Grammy Award and came in third on the ranking of Top 100 DJs compiled by DJ Magazine.
Natasha Richardson was an English-American actress who was born into show business as a member of the prominent Redgrave family. She is best known for her role in the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap. Her death was the result of an accident and could have been completely avoided.
Corey Haim was a Canadian actor who hit it big in the '80s. He was in films like Silver Bullet, License to Drive and Lucas. His biggest role came alongside Corey Feldman in The Lost Boys and really put him on the map. The role ultimately led to Haim and Feldman becoming icons worthy of their own reality show.
Brittany Murphy became a household name in the '90s after starring alongside Alicia Silverstone in Clueless. She went on to have a very successful career, starring in many films such as 8 Mile, Little Black Book, Sin City and Girl, Interrupted.
The English columnist and television personality was born into the business. Her father was a musician, and her mother was a presenter. She had both a budding career and two young sons with her husband, Thomas Cohen.
Ryan Dunn rose to fame alongside the hooligan cast of the popular movie Jackass. The movie followed a group of friends as they carried out dangerous pranks and other forms of physical entertainment.
James Gandolfini was best known for his epic portrayal of Tony Soprano in The Sopranos. The Italian-American actor had been in the business since the early '80s. He also starred in several films, such as The Drop with Tom Hardy and Enough Said with Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Heath Ledger was on a straight shot to the top when his tragic death cut his life short. He had just finished filming The Dark Knight, which was arguably the best role of his career. Due to his roles in The Dark Knight and I'm Not There, Ledger told a reporter that he had developed severe problems sleeping.