People who died before age 40

by highschoolmusical_hairsp | created - 27 Oct 2013 | updated - 11 Jan 2014 | Public

1. Jean Harlow

Actress | Libeled Lady

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 ...

age 26

2. Carole Lombard

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 ...

age 33

3. Carole Landis

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.

...

age 29

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 ...

age 36

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 ...

age 24

6. Marilyn Monroe

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 ...

age 36

7. Jayne Mansfield

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, to Vera J. and Herbert W. Palmer. Her parents were well-to-do, with her father a successful attorney in Phillipburg, New Jersey, where Jayne ...

age 34

8. Bobby Driscoll

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 ...

age 31

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 ...

age 26

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 ...

age 28

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 ...

age 12

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 5 1/2 years old in 1983. She was mistaken for a three year old child. Her first commercial was for Donald Duck Orange Juice and she went on to ...

age 10

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 ...

age 22

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 ...

age 23

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 ...

age 38

16. Aaliyah

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 ...

age 22

17. Sabu

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...

age 39

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 ...

age 32

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 ...

age 27

20. Anna Nicole Smith

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 ...

age 39

21. Rudolph Valentino

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 ...

age 31

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...

age 31

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...

age 32

24. Amy Winehouse

Soundtrack | Amy

Amy Winehouse was a five-time Grammy Award-winning English singer-songwriter known for such hits as 'Rehab' and 'You Know I'm No Good' among her other works.

She was born Amy Jade Winehouse, on September 14, 1983, in Enfield, London, England to a Jewish family with Russian ancestry on her mother's ...

age 27

25. Selena

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...

age 23

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), ...

age 20

27. Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer

Actor | Pat and Mike

Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer was born on August 7, 1927 in Paris, Illinois, USA as Carl Dean Switzer. He was an actor, known for Pat and Mike (1952), Night 'n' Gales (1937) and The Pinch Singer (1936). He was married to Dian Collingwood. He died on January 21, 1959 in Mission Hills, California, USA.

age 31

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...

age 32

29. Jiah Khan

Actress | Ghajini

Jiah Khan was born on February 20, 1988 in New York City, New York, USA as Nafisa Khan. She is known for her work on Ghajini (2008), Nishabd (2007) and Housefull (2010). She died on June 3, 2013 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

age 25



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