People who died before age 40by highschoolmusical_hairsp | created - 27 Oct 2013 | updated - 11 Jan 2014 | Public
1. Jean Harlow
Actress | Bombshell
Harlean Carpenter, who later became Jean Harlow, was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 3, 1911. She was the daughter of a successful dentist and his wife. In 1927, at the age of 16, she ran away from home to marry a young businessman named Charles McGrew, who was 23. The couple pulled up ...
Actress | My Man Godfrey
Carole Lombard was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on October 6, 1908. Her parents divorced in 1916 and her mother took the family on a trip out West. While there they decided to settle down in the Los Angeles area. After being spotted playing baseball in the street with the ...
Actress | I Wake Up Screaming
Carole Landis was born on New Year's Day in 1919 in Fairchild, Wisconsin, as Frances Lillian Mary Ridste. Her father, a railroad mechanic, was of Norwegian descent and her mother was Polish. Her father walked out, leaving Carole, her mother and an older brother and sister to fend for themselves.
4. Lupe Velez
Actress | The Girl from Mexico
Lupe Velez was born on July 18, 1908, in San Luis de Potosi, Mexico, as Maria Guadalupe Villalobos Velez. She was sent to Texas at the age of 13 to live in a convent. She later admitted that she wasn't much of a student because she was so rambunctious. She had planned to become a champion ...
5. James Dean
Actor | East of Eden
James Byron Dean was born February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana, to Mildred Marie (Wilson) and Winton A. Dean, a farmer turned dental technician. His mother died when Dean was nine, and he was subsequently raised on a farm by his aunt and uncle in Fairmount, Indiana. After grade school, he moved to ...
Actress | Some Like It Hot
Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, comedienne, singer, and model. She became one of the world's most enduring iconic figures and is remembered both for her winsome embodiment of the Hollywood sex symbol and her tragic personal and professional struggles within the film industry. Her life and ...
Actress | The Girl Can't Help It
One of the leading sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s, film actress Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19, 1933 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, the only child of Vera J. (nee Palmer; later Peers) and Herbert W. Palmer. Her parents were well-to-do, with her father a successful attorney ...
Actor | Peter Pan
Bobby Driscoll was a natural-born actor. Discovered by chance at the age of five-and-a-half in a barber shop in Altadena, CA. and then convincing in anything he ever undertook on the movie screen and on television throughout his career spanning 17 years (1943-1960). Includes such notable movie ...
9. Sharon Tate
Actress | Valley of the Dolls
Sharon's early life was one of constant moving as her father served in the military. When she lived in Italy, she was voted "Homecoming Queen" of her high school. After being an extra in a few Italian films, Sharon headed to Hollywood where she would again start as an extra. Her first big break ...
10. Heath Ledger
Actor | Brokeback Mountain
When hunky, twenty-year-old heart-throb Heath Ledger first came to the attention of the public in 1999, it was all too easy to tag him as a "pretty boy" and an actor of little depth. He spent several years trying desperately to sway this image, but this was a double-edged sword. His work comprised ...
11. Heather O'Rourke
Actress | Poltergeist
Heather Michele O'Rourke was born on December 27, 1975 in Santee, San Diego, California, to Kathleen, a seamstress, and Michael O'Rourke, a construction worker. She had German, Danish, English, and Irish ancestry.
Heather entered American cinematic pop-culture before first grade. She was sitting ...
12. Judith Barsi
Actress | The Land Before Time
The only child of Jozsef Barsi and Maria Benko, Judith Eva Barsi beat 10,000-to-1 odds when she was discovered at a San Fernando Valley skating rink at age 5 1/2 in 1983 and mistaken for a 3-year-old. Her first commercial was for Donald Duck Orange Juice and she went on to appear in anywhere ...
13. Dominique Dunne
Actress | Poltergeist
Dominique Dunne was born to a life of privilege in Santa Monica, California, the daughter of Ellen Beatriz (Griffin) Dunne and Dominick Dunne, a producer, actor, and writer. Actor Griffin Dunne is her brother. After her parents' divorce, she moved first to New York, and then to a posh home in ...
14. River Phoenix
Actor | My Own Private Idaho
River Phoenix was born River Jude Bottom in Madras, Oregon. His mother, Arlyn (Dunetz), a Bronx-born secretary, and his father, John Bottom, a carpenter, met in California in 1968. They worked as itinerant fruit pickers, and later joined the Children of God religious group (John was originally ...
15. Corey Haim
Actor | The Lost Boys
Corey Haim was born in Toronto, Ontario, to Judy Haim, an Israeli-born data processor, and Bernie Haim, a clothing sales representative. He has a sister, Carol, and a half-brother, Daniel. His family is Jewish. He was raised mostly in Willowdale.
Corey appeared in 26 episodes of the early 1980s ...
Soundtrack | Romeo Must Die
Talented. Beautiful. Modest. These three words described R&B singer-turned-actress Aaliyah perfectly.
Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Diane (Hankerson) and Michael Haughton. Her uncle was music manager Barry Hankerson and her brother is director Rashad Haughton. Aaliyah was ...
Actor | Arabian Nights
Sabu Dastagir (or Selar Shaik Sabu, depending on your resource) was born on January 27, 1924, in the little town of Mysore, India, which is nestled in the jungles of Karapur. The son of an elephant driver (mahout) in service for the Maharajah of his town, the young stable boy learned responsibility...
18. Bruce Lee
Actor | Meng long guo jiang
Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema and a key figure of modern popular media. Had it not been for Bruce Lee and his movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream North American and ...
19. Jonathan Brandis
Actor | Seaquest DSV
Born in Danbury, Connecticut, USA, to Greg and Mary, Jonathan Brandis began his career at age 5, acting in television commercials. He appeared in small parts in several films and TV shows before his first starring role in the 1990 film The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990). He starred ...
Actress | Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
Anna Nicole Smith was born on November 28, 1967 in Houston, Texas, USA as Vickie Lynn Hogan. She is known for her work on Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994), Be Cool (2005) and Illegal Aliens (2007). She was married to J. Howard Marshall II and Billy Smith. She died on February 8, 2007 in ...
Actor | The Sheik
Hollywood's original Latin Lover, a term that was invented for Rudolph Valentino by Hollywood moguls. Alla Nazimova's friend,Natacha Rambova (nee Winifred Hudnut) became romantically involved with Rudy and they lived together in her bungalow, from 1921 (during the filming of Camille) until they ...
22. Cory Monteith
Actor | Glee
Cory Monteith was born on May 11, 1982 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada as Cory Allan Michael Monteith. He was an actor, known for playing the singing jock Finn on the American TV show Glee (2009) and films such as Monte Carlo (2011), and Final Destination 3 (2006). He died on July 13, 2013 in Vancouver...
23. Brittany Murphy
Actress | Just Married
Brittany Murphy was born Brittany Anne Bertolotti on November 10, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia, to Sharon Kathleen Murphy and Angelo Joseph Bertolotti. Her father's ancestry is Italian, and her mother is of Irish and Slovak descent. Her father moved the family back to Edison, New Jersey as a native New...
24. Amy Winehouse
Soundtrack | Amy
Amy Jade Winehouse was born on September 14, 1983 in Southgate, London, England to Janis Holly Collins (previously: Janis Holly Winehouse; born: Janis Holly Seaton), a pharmacist & Mitchell "Mitch" Winehouse, a taxi driver. Her family shared her love of theater and music. Amy was brought up on jazz...
Soundtrack | Don Juan DeMarco
Selena was born in Lake Jackson, Texas, a city 50 miles southeast of Houston, to Abraham Quintanilla Jr. and Marcella Quintanilla. Abraham opened a Mexican restaurant, Papagayo, in Lake Jackson. Selena was 9-years-old when her father discovered her talent for singing. He formed a band consisting of...
26. Josh Ryan Evans
Actor | Passions
Despite being one of the smallest actors in Hollywood at 37 inches, Josh proved quality early on in life. By creating and distributing his own business cards before he was even a teenager, Josh landed a spot on "The Dancing Baby" ice cream commercial, which led to his role in Baby Geniuses (1999), ...
Actor | Night 'n' Gales
Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer was born on August 7, 1927 in Paris, Illinois, USA as Carl Dean Switzer. He was an actor, known for Night 'n' Gales (1937), Feed 'em and Weep (1938) and Rushin' Ballet (1937). He was married to Dian Collingwood. He died on January 21, 1959 in Mission Hills, California, USA.
28. Karen Carpenter
Soundtrack | Paul Williams Still Alive
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Karen Carpenter moved with her family to Downey, California, in 1963. Karen's older brother, Richard Carpenter, decided to put together an instrumental trio with him on the piano, Karen on the drums and their friend Wes Jacobs on the bass and tuba. In a battle of the...