list of drug related deaths

by owanopeter | created - 03 Feb 2014 | updated - 04 Feb 2014 | Public

Criteria for inclusion are death from overdose, death from organ-failure/illness due to or exacerbated by drug use, or death from suicide/misadventure under the influence of drugs.

1. Philip Seymour Hoffman

Actor | The Master

Film and stage actor and theater director Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in the Rochester, New York, suburb of Fairport on July 23, 1967. He was the son of Marilyn (Loucks), a lawyer and judge, and Gordon Stowell Hoffman, a Xerox employee, and was mostly of German, Irish, English and Dutch ...

Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York apartment on Sunday 2/2/14. He was 46.

Law enforcement officials said Hoffman died at his apartment in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan. No cause of death has been determined but officials suspect the actor may have overdosed on drugs. Law enforcement officials said the actor was found with a needle in his arm. Heroin overdose. 1967–2014

2. 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...

Mixed drug toxicity, including heroin and alcohol. 1982–2013

3. Whitney Houston

Soundtrack | The Bodyguard

Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born into a musical family on 9 August 1963, in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of gospel star Cissy Houston, cousin of singing star Dionne Warwick and goddaughter of soul legend Aretha Franklin.

She began singing in the choir at her church, The New Hope Baptist ...

Accidental drowning, due to atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use. Toxicology reports showed the acute presence of cocaine indicating use prior to death, as well as sub-/therapeutic levels of Benadryl, Flexeril, and Xanax. 1963–2012

4. Ryan Dunn

Actor | Close-Up

Ryan Dunn (June 11, 1977 - June 20, 2011) was an American reality television personality, actor and stunt man. He was a member of the Jackass and Viva La Bam crew.

Ryan Matthew Dunn was born in Medina, Ohio, to Linda Sue (Reese) and Ronald James Dunn. He came to prominence as a member of the CKY ...

Car crash. Dunn had a blood alcohol level of 0.196%, more than twice the legal limit where he was killed. 1977–2011

5. Greg Giraldo

Actor | Common Law

Greg Giraldo was born on December 10, 1965 in Bronx, New York City, New York, USA as Gregory C. Giraldo. He was a writer and actor, known for Common Law (1996), Z Rock (2008) and Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn (2002). He was married to MaryAnne McAlpin-Giraldo. He died on September 29, 2010 in New ...

Overdose of prescription medication. Accidental. 1965–2010

6. 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...

[C]ombination of pneumonia, an iron deficiency and 'multiple drug intoxication. 1977–2009

7. 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 ...

Combined drug intoxication of oxycodone, hydrocodone, alprazolam, diazepam, temazepam and doxylamine. Accidental. 1979–2008

8. Brad Renfro

Actor | Apt Pupil

Brad Renfro was born on July 25, 1982 in Knoxville, Tennessee, to Angela Denise McCrory and Mark Renfro, a factory worker. He was discovered at age 10 by director Joel Schumacher and was cast in the motion picture The Client (1994), which starred Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones. Although this ...

Heroin and morphine overdose. 1982–2008

9. Natasha Collins

Actress | The 10th Kingdom

Natasha Collins was born on July 7, 1976 in Luton, Bedfordshire, England as Natasha Louise Collins. She was an actress, known for The 10th Kingdom (2000), See It Saw It (1999) and ChuckleVision (1987). She died on January 3, 2008 in St John's Wood, London, England.

Cocaine overdose. Accidental. 1973–2008

10. 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 ...

Lethal combination of chloral hydrate and various benzodiazepines. 1967–2007

11. Ashleigh Aston Moore

Actress | Now and Then

Ashleigh Ashton Moore was born as Ashley Rogers on September 30, 1981. Her parents were Cynthia Moore, a CNA (Certified nursing assistant) and James Moore, who wasn't around for much of her life. She attended a private school in Sunnyvalle until third grade when she left to spend full time on her ...

Alleged drug overdose 1981-2007

12. Chris Penn

Actor | Reservoir Dogs

Christopher Shannon Penn was born on October 10, 1965 in Los Angeles, California, the third son of actress Eileen Ryan (née Annucci) and director, actor, and writer Leo Penn. His siblings are musician Michael Penn and actor Sean Penn. His father was from a Lithuanian Jewish/Russian Jewish family, ...

Enlarged heart through drug use and a high level of codeine. 1965–2006

13. Harold Hunter

Actor | Kids

Harold Hunter was born on April 2, 1974 in New York City, New York, USA as Harold Atkins Hunter. He is known for his work on Kids (1995), Mind Games (1996) and On the Road with Judas (2007). He died on February 17, 2006 in New York City.

Cocaine-induced heart attack. 1974–2006

14. Mitch Hedberg

Actor | Almost Famous

Mitch Hedberg was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on February 24, 1968. He began his stand-up career in Florida, and after a period of honing his skills there he moved to Seattle and began touring. He soon appeared on MTV's "Comikaze", then a 1996 appearance on Late Night with David Letterman (1982) ...

Cocaine and heroin overdose. 1968–2005

15. Malcolm Hardee

Actor | The Black Adder

Malcolm Hardee was born on January 5, 1950 in Lewisham, London, England. He was an actor, known for The Black Adder (1982), The Comic Strip Presents... (1982) and Fat Les: Vin-da-loo (1998). He died on January 31, 2005 in Rotherhithe, London.

Drowned after he fell into the water whilst drunk. 1950–2005

16. Robert Pastorelli

Actor | Eraser

Beefy, roughhewn actor Robert Pastorelli was a former boxer and an admitted drug addict before he cleaned up his act and pursued theater work in New York in such 1970s productions as "Rebel Without a Cause," "The Rainmaker," and "Death of a Salesman," he headed west and turned to film and TV in ...

Heroin overdose. 1954–2004

17. Trevor Goddard

Actor | Mortal Kombat

Trevor Goddard was born in Croydon, Surrey, England on October 14, 1962. His parents, Eric and Clara, and baby Trevor moved to Bromley, Kent, where he grew up. As a natural athlete, Trevor was highly interested in sports. As a youngster, he played football (soccer) and cricket and enjoyed running ...

Overdose of heroin, cocaine, valium and vicodin. Accidental. 1962–2003

18. Glenn Quinn

Actor | Angel

Quinn was born in Dublin, Ireland, and moved to the United States with his mother and two sisters in 1988. His first role was as a pool shark in the Richard Marx video Satisfied. He later landed a major role in the John Travolta film Shout (1991), where he shared a screen kiss with Gwyneth Paltrow....

Unspecified drug overdose. Accidental. 1970–2002

19. Catya Sassoon

Actress | Tuff Turf

Daughter of English hair stylist Vidal Sassoon and American actress Beverly Adams, she was born and lived her tender years in Manhattan, New York, then in Los Angeles, California.

At 14, she dropped out of Beverly Hills High School to pursue a modeling career in New York, due to the persuasion of ...

Hydromorphone and cocaine overdose. 1968–2002

20. Matthew Ansara

Actor | To Protect and Serve

Matthew Ansara was born on August 29, 1965 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Matthew Michael Ansara. He was an actor, known for To Protect and Serve (2001), One World (1998) and Con Games (2001). He was married to Julie Ansara. He died on June 25, 2001 in Monrovia, California.

Heroin overdose. Accidental. 1965–2001

21. Megan Connolly

Actress | Home and Away

After making her film debut in "The Crossing", Megan was one of the leading soap stars in Australia. After her role in Paradise Beach ended in 1994, she co-hosted the morning kids show "The Zone" for a year. In late 1995 she hosted the Foxtel's fitness show "Body Corp" for cable television, before ...

Heroin overdose. 1974–2001

22. Lani O'Grady

Actress | Eight Is Enough

Although Lani O'Grady retired from acting in the '80s to become a talent agent like her mother, she had long secured her place in the TV Land pantheon as Mary, the brainiac wannabe doctor in Eight Is Enough (1977)'s expansive Bradford brood. The dramedy, starring Dick Van Patten as a newspaper ...

Multiple drug intoxication. Vicodin and Prozac were found in her bloodstream. 1954–2001

23. Jennifer Syme

Actress | Lost Highway

Not much is known about Jennifer Syme, except that she was a girlfriend of actor Keanu Reeves. A lot of what is known about her centered around tragic circumstances: First, the 1999 stillbirth of the baby she expected with Reeves, and second, her untimely death at age 28. Around the time she met ...

Crashed her car while under the influence of cocaine, clonazepam and cyclobenzaprine. 1972–2001

24. Rosemarie Frankland

Actress | We Shall See

Rosemarie Frankland was a beautiful young girl in London, working behind the counter at Marks and Spencer, who ended up becoming Britain's first Miss World in 1961. She began an affair with Bob Hope that lasted more than twenty years. She even moved in to his home in Palm Springs at one point. ...

Unspecified prescription drug overdose. Suicide. 1943–2000

25. Christopher Pettiet

Actor | Point Break

Born in Dallas, Texas, Christopher Pettiet began career as a child actor making appearances in television series, made-for-television movies and films. He starred in two hit flicks, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead and Point Break, and then joined the cast of the Western TV series The Young ...

Unspecified drug overdose. Accidental. 1976–2000

26. Dana Plato

Actress | Diff'rent Strokes

Dana Michelle Plato was born in Maywood, California, on Saturday 7 November 1964. Her first excursion into the film world occurred when she was eleven in the television film Beyond the Bermuda Triangle (1975). Dana never really made an impact on the TV screen until she landed the part of Kimberly ...

Vanadom and Lortab overdose. Suicide. 1964–1999

27. Zoë Lund

Actress | Bad Lieutenant

Zoe Lund was born Zoe Tamerlis to a Swedish mother and Romanian father on February 9, 1962 in New York City. She was an accomplished composer/musician and devout political activist at an early age. In 1981 at age 19, Lund gave a stunning performance as Thana, a mousy, mute garment worker and rape ...

Cocaine-induced heart attack. 1962–1999

28. Rodney Harvey

Actor | My Own Private Idaho

Rodney Harvey was born on July 31, 1967 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Rodney Michael Harvey. He was an actor, known for My Own Private Idaho (1991), The Outsiders (1990) and Twin Peaks (1990). He died on April 11, 1998 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Heroin overdose. 1967–1998

29. Kevin Lloyd

Actor | Coronation Street

Short, stocky, balding character actor who found fame on British TV in The Bill (1984) but became an alcoholic and died in a clinic attempting to dry out less than a week after being dismissed from the series. He had 8 children, one adopted and another who died while still a baby. Did a lot of UK ...

Lloyd was three times over the legal blood alcohol limit for driving when he chocked on his own vomit. 1949–1998

30. Chris Farley

Actor | Tommy Boy

Christopher Crosby Farley was born on February 15, 1964, in Madison, Wisconsin, to Mary Anne (Crosby) and Thomas Farley, who owned an oil company. Among his siblings are actors Kevin P. Farley and John Farley. He was of Irish heritage. Farley studied theatre and communications on Marquette ...

Cocaine and morphine overdose. 1964–1997

31. Michael Hutchence

Soundtrack | Face/Off

Michael Hutchence is one of the greatest singers and performers in Australia's history, with a career that spanned 20 years. Born to Kelland Hutchence and Patricia Hutchence (a film and television make-up artist), Michael was the second of three children. He grew up in Hong Kong, USA, and Australia...

Self-induced asphyxiation while under the influence of alcohol, cocaine, Prozac and other prescription drugs. 1960–1997

32. Margaux Hemingway

Actress | Inner Sanctum

Born in Portland, Oregon, she grew up in on a farm in Ketchum, Idaho. But dad was Jack Hemingway, son of the Nobel prize winning author Ernest Hemingway and, with that heritage, fame was almost foreordained. By the time she was 21, after the lead in the rape melodrama Lipstick (1976), she had a ...

Phenobarbital overdose. Disputed suicide. 1954–1996

33. 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 ...

Heroin and cocaine overdose. 1970–1993

34. James Leo Herlihy

Writer | Midnight Cowboy

Detroit-born James Leo Herlihy went into the Navy straight from high school in 1945, but the war ended before he got to see any combat. After his discharge, he attended North Carolina's Black Mountain College--a small, experimental institution with an emphasis on art, music and literature and with ...

Overdose of sleeping pills. Suicide. 1927–1993

35. Max Cantor

Actor | Dirty Dancing

Max Cantor was born on May 15, 1959. He was an actor, known for Dirty Dancing (1987), Fear, Anxiety & Depression (1989) and Diner (1983). He died on October 3, 1991 in New York City, New York, USA.

Heroin overdose. 1959–1991

36. John Cassavetes

Actor | Love Streams

John Cassavetes was born on December 9, 1929 in New York City, New York, USA as John Nicholas Cassavetes. He was an actor and director, known for Love Streams (1984), The Dirty Dozen (1967) and Husbands (1970). He was married to Gena Rowlands. He died on February 3, 1989 in Los Angeles, California,...

Cirrhosis of liver due to alcoholism. 1929–1989

37. Kenneth Williams

Actor | Follow That Camel

The acting bug bit Kenneth Williams when, as a student, his English teacher suggested he try out for a school play. He found that he enjoyed it tremendously, but when he raised the possibility at home of becoming an actor, his father forbade it. Williams was eventually sent to art school in London ...

Barbiturate overdose. It was not possible to establish whether his death was suicide or accidental. 1926–1988

38. Joyce Jameson

Actress | The Outlaw Josey Wales

Well-endowed, attractive Joyce Jameson was typecast as 'broads', 'dames' and dizzy blondes - somewhat in the vein of Barbara Nichols. In real life, she was said to have been the antithesis of her screen personae, a graduate in theatre arts from UCLA, highly intelligent and well-read. Joyce began ...

Overdose of unspecified pills. Suicide. 1932–1987

39. Gary Holton

Actor | Auf Wiedersehen, Pet

Gary Holton was born on September 22, 1952 in Clapham, London, England as Garry Frederick Holton. He was an actor, known for Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (1983), Breaking Glass (1980) and Minder (1979). He was married to Donna Campbell. He died on October 25, 1985 in London.

Heroin overdose. 1952–1985

40. Jackie Curtis

Actor | Women in Revolt

Jackie's friendship and professional association with Andy Warhol began in the mid-1960s. He appeared in director Paul Morrissey's Women in Revolt (1971) with Candy Darling and Holly Woodlawn and Flesh (1968) with Joe Dallesandro and Candy Darling, presented by Andy Warhol. For these unique films, ...

Heroin overdose. 1947–1985

41. Pascale Ogier

Actress | Les nuits de la pleine lune

Daughter of musician Gilles Nicolas. She was only two years old when her parents divorced. After a few hours spent at the Parisian club Le Palace, she spent the night with a friend and took drugs, an addiction she had since her teens. She died that same night from an overdose. She was buried in ...

Unspecified drug overdose. 1958–1984

42. Richard Burton

Actor | Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Probably more frequently remembered for his turbulent personal life and multiple marriages, Richard Burton was nonetheless regarded as one of the great British actors of the post-WWII period.

Burton was born Richard Walter Jenkins in Pontrhydyfen, Wales, to Edith Maude (Thomas) and Richard Walter ...

Alcohol related causes. 1925–1984

43. James Hayden

Actor | Once Upon a Time in America

James Hayden was born on November 25, 1953 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. He was an actor, known for Once Upon a Time in America (1984), The Nesting (1981) and The First Deadly Sin (1980). He was married to Barbara Daniels. He died on November 8, 1983 in New York City, New York.

Heroin overdose. 1953–1983

44. John Belushi

Actor | Saturday Night Live

John Belushi was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on January 24, 1949, to Agnes Demetri (Samaras) and Adam Anastos Belushi, a restaurant owner. His father was an Albanian immigrant, from Qytezë, and his mother was also of Albanian descent. He grew up in Wheaton, where the family moved when he was ...

Speedball. Accidental. 1949–1982

45. Tom Baker

Director | Bongo Wolf's Revenge

Tom Baker was born on August 23, 1940 in West Virginia, USA as Thomas F. Baker. He was an actor and director, known for Bongo Wolf's Revenge (1970), Two-Minute Warning (1976) and Angels Die Hard (1970). He died on September 2, 1982 in New York City, New York, USA.

Baker died of a drug overdose in 1982 on the Lower East Side in New York City, in a seedy junk-house for heroin addicts. His death caused confusion in the media. British actor Tom Baker was more well-known at the time, due to his portrayal of the Doctor on the BBC programme Doctor Who, and was also a heavy drinker. Some publications mistakenly reported that the British actor had died. 1940–1982

46. Vivien Merchant

Actress | Frenzy

Vivien Merchant was born on July 22, 1929 in Manchester, England as Ada Thompson. She was an actress, known for Frenzy (1972), Alfie (1966) and The Offence (1973). She was married to Harold Pinter. She died on October 3, 1982 in London, England.

Alcoholism. The coroner stated Merchant "drank herself to death." 1929–1982

47. Rachel Roberts

Actress | Murder on the Orient Express

Beautiful, swift and tough-tongued British character actress Rachel Roberts gained notice for her roles on the English stage, before she hit it largely in films. Born in Wales and married to actor Rex Harrison in 1962, Roberts made her film debut in a key role in J. Lee Thompson's Young and Willing...

Barbiturate overdose. Suicide. 1927–1980

48. Donyale Luna

Actress | Salomè

The world's first black supermodel, Luna was born Peggy Ann Freeman was in Detroit and grew up there in the northeast side of the city. Her father, Nathaniel Freeman, worked for almost 40 years at Ford Motor Company, usually in the foundry. Her mother, Peggy, was receptionist at the downtown YWCA ...

Unspecified drug overdose. Accidental. 1945–1979

49. Jean Seberg

Actress | À bout de souffle

Jean Dorothy Seberg was born in Marshalltown, Iowa, to Dorothy Arline (Benson), a substitute teacher, and Edward Waldemar Seberg, a pharmacist. Her father was of Swedish descent and her mother was of English and German ancestry.

One month before her eighteenth birthday, Jean landed the title role in ...

Barbiturate and alcohol overdose. Suicide. 1938–1979

50. Maggie McNamara

Actress | The Moon Is Blue

Maggie McNamara -- with her brown hair in a ponytail -- arrives in Rome in Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) expecting great things to happen. Petite and slender, she looks almost like a schoolgirl in her prim blue suit. She is bright and vivacious and goes for what she wants -- a proposal from "...

Sleeping pill overdose. Suicide. 1928–1978

51. Charles Boyer

Actor | Gaslight

Charles Boyer studied philosophy before he went to the theater where he gave his debut in 1920. Although he had at first no intentions to pursue a career at the movies (his first movie was L'homme du large (1920) by Marcel L'Herbier) he used his chance in Hollywood after several filming stations ...

Seconal overdose. Suicide. 1899–1978

52. Freddie Prinze

Actor | Chico and the Man

Freddie Prinze was born Frederick Karl Pruetzel in New York City, New York, to a Puerto Rican mother, Aurea Elena Ruiz, and a German immigrant father, Edward Karl Pruetzel. Freddie grew up in the Washington Heights section of New York City. As a chubby child, he was often bullied, but was quite ...

Self-inflicted gunshot wound while under the influence of methaqualone and alcohol. Initially ruled suicide but later determined accidental. 1954–1977

53. Anissa Jones

Actress | To Rome with Love

Anissa Jones was born on March 11, 1958 in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA as Mary Anissa Jones. She was an actress, known for To Rome with Love (1969), Family Affair (1966) and The Trouble with Girls (1969). She died on August 28, 1976 in Oceanside, California, USA.

Overdose of barbiturates, cocaine, quaaludes, and PCP. Accidental. 1958–1976

54. Howard Hughes

Producer | The Outlaw

Billionaire businessman, film producer, film director, and aviator, born in Humble, Texas just north of Houston. He studied at two prestigious institutions of higher learning: Rice University in Houston and California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Inherited his father's machine ...

Liver failure. Physician administered an overdose of codeine at "the highest clinical level ever recorded" at the time. 1905–1976

55. Michèle Girardon

Actress | Hatari!

This stunning, fragile starlet was born Henriette Michèle Leone Girardon in Lyon in August 1938. Having completed her acting studies at the local conservatoire she won a competition as "the most photogenic girl in France" by the age of twenty. Photo shoots followed and a minor career as a model ...

Overdose of sleeping pills. Suicide. 1938-1975

56. Patricia Cutts

Actress | The Tingler

Patricia Cutts was born on July 20, 1926 in London, England. She was an actress, known for The Tingler (1959), The Adventures of P.C. 49: Investigating the Case of the Guardian Angel (1949) and Playhouse 90 (1956). She was married to William Nichols, John A.C. Findlay (agent) and Harold S.N.I. ...

Barbiturate overdose. Suicide. 1926–1974

57. 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 ...

Acute cerebral edema due to a reaction to compounds present in the prescription pain killing drug Equagesic. 1940–1973

58. George Sanders

Actor | All About Eve

George Sanders was born of English parents in St. Petersburg, Russia. He worked in a Birmingham textile mill, in the tobacco business and as a writer in advertising. He entered show business in London as a chorus boy, going from there to cabaret, radio and theatrical understudy. His film debut, in ...

Nembutal overdose. Suicide. 1906–1972

59. Edie Sedgwick

Actress | Ciao Manhattan

Edie Sedgwick was a bright social butterfly whose candle of fame burned brightly at both ends. Born into a wealthy White Anglo-Saxon Protestant family of impressive lineage, Edie became a "celebutante" for her beauty, style, wealth and her associations with figures of the 1960s counterculture.

Edie ...

Barbiturate and alcohol overdose. Undetermined. 1943–1971

60. Pier Angeli

Actress | Battle of the Bulge

Anna Maria Pierangeli was born June 19, 1932, in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. Anna and her twin sister, Marisa Pavan, both had their eyes on become film stars, since that was one of the big Italian pastimes. Anna adopted her surname and split it in half, and it was as Pier Angeli that she would find ...

Barbiturate overdose. Accidental. 1932–1971

61. Inger Stevens

Actress | Hang 'Em High

This enigmatic Stockholm-born beauty had everything going for her, including a rapidly rising film and TV career. Yet on April 30, 1970, at only 35, Inger Stevens would become another tragic Hollywood statistic -- added proof that fame and fortune do not always lead to happiness. Over time, a ...

Barbiturate overdose. Suicide. 1934–1970

62. Chester Morris

Actor | Tomorrow at Seven

The Academy Award-nominated film actor Chester Morris, who will forever be associated with the character Boston Blackie, was born John Chester Brooks Morris on February 16 1901 in New York City, the son of actor William Morris and comedienne Etta Hawkins.

Chester Morris made his Broadway debut as a ...

Barbiturate overdose. 1901–1970

63. Judy Garland

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

One of the brightest, most tragic movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era, Judy Garland was a much-loved character whose warmth and spirit, along with her rich and exuberant voice, kept theatre-goers entertained with an array of delightful musicals.

She was born Frances Ethel Gumm on 10 June 1922 in ...

Secobarbital overdose. Her death certificate states the overdose was "accidental" however there is speculation it was intentional. 1922–1969

64. Nick Adams

Actor | Kaijû daisensô

Nick Adams, best known to audiences as Johnny Yuma of the TV series The Rebel (1959), played leads and supporting parts in many films of the 1950s, often cast in the same "troubled young man" mold as his good friend, James Dean. He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Twilight of Honor...

Barbiturate overdose. Death officially certified as "accidental-suicidal and undetermined". High levels of sedatives were found in his blood. 1931–1968

65. Tony Hancock

Actor | The Rebel

Tony Hancock was born in Birmingham, England, the son of John and Lillian Hancock. He was educated at Durlston Court, Swanage, and Bradfield College, Reading. He served in the R.A.F. (ground crew) during the war. In 1942 he was in the R.A.F. Gang Show. He was de-mobbed in 1946. He appeared at the ...

Lethal mixture of amphetamines and liquor. Suicide. 1924–1968

66. Lenny Bruce

Writer | Dance Hall Racket

Lenny Bruce was born Leonard Alfred Schneider on October 13, 1925, in Mineola, Long Island, New York. His British-born father, Myron, was a shoe clerk, his mother, Sadie, was a dancer. Lenny's parents were divorced when he was a child. To support herself and her son, Sadie Schneider persued a ...

Acute morphine poisoning caused by an accidental overdose. 1925–1966

67. Marie McDonald

Actress | Living in a Big Way

Kentucky-born Marie McDonald, born Cora Marie Frye in 1923, was a leggy, voluptuous blonde starlet who pursued her career with a vengeance but found little reward in the end. Her mother was a former Ziegfeld girl and her grandmother an operatic singer. Her father, on the other hand, was not so ...

Unspecified drug overdose. 1923–1965

68. Dorothy Dandridge

Actress | Carmen Jones

Dorothy Jean Dandridge was born on November 9, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Ruby Dandridge (née Ruby Jean Butler), an entertainer, and Cyril H. Dandridge, a cabinet maker and minister. Under the prodding of her mother, Dorothy and her sister Vivian Dandridge began performing publicly, usually in ...

Overdose of Imipramine. Accidental. 1922–1965

69. Dai Lin

Actress | Qian jiao bai mei

Dai Lin was born on December 26, 1934 in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China as Yueru Cheng. She is known for her work on Qian jiao bai mei (1961), Bu liao qing (1961) and Diao Chan (1958). She was married to Shun-shing Lung. She died on July 17, 1964 in Hong Kong.

Sleeping pill overdose combined with gas inhalation. 1934–1964

70. Guru Dutt

Actor | Pyaasa

Considered to be a man ahead of his time, Guru Dutt was one of the greatest icons of commercial Indian cinema. Although he made less than fifty films, they are believed to be the best to come from Bollywood's Golden Age, known both for their ability to reach out to the common man and for their ...

Overdose of sleeping pills and alcohol. 1925–1964

71. Alan Ladd

Actor | Shane

Alan Walbridge Ladd was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the only child of Ina Raleigh (aka Selina Rowley) and Alan Ladd, a freelance accountant. His mother was English, from County Durham, and his paternal grandparents were Canadian. His father died when he was four. At age five, he burned his ...

Overdose of alcohol and three unspecified drugs. Accidental. 1913–1964

72. 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 ...

Barbiturate overdose. Officially listed as "probable suicide" though several conspiracy theories exist. 1926–1962

73. Clara Blandick

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

Clara Blandick was a character actress who was born aboard an American ship off the coast of Hong Kong on June 4, 1880. Little is known about her early life until she became an actress. Although she appeared in 118 films, she was primarily a stage actress. Clara actually began her film career at a ...

Acute asphyxiation in combination with overdosage of sleeping pills, most likely barbiturates. Euthanasia. 1880–1962

74. Gail Russell

Actress | The Uninvited

Gail Russell was born in Chicago, Illinois, on September 21, 1924. She remained in the Windy City, going to school until her parents moved to California when she was 14. She was an above-average student in school and upon graduation from Santa Monica High School was signed by Paramount Studios.

...

Alcoholism. 1924–1961

75. Margaret Sullavan

Actress | The Shop Around the Corner

Born in Norfolk, Virginia to wealthy stockbroker Cornelius Hancock Sullavan and heiress Garland Council Sullavan, Margaret Brooke overcame a muscle weakness in her childhood to go on to become a rebellious teenager at posh private schools. She went on to perform with the University Players at ...

Barbiturate overdose. Suicide. 1909–1960

76. Phyllis Haver

Actress | The Midnight Express

Phyllis Haver was born Phyllis O'Haver on January 6, 1899, in Douglas, KS. When she was a child her family moved to California. Young Phyllis got a job playing piano at a local movie theater. Producer Mack Sennett saw her and hired her to be one of his "Sennett Bathing Beauties". Between 1916-20 ...

Barbiturate overdose. Suspected suicide. 1899–1960

77. Errol Flynn

Actor | The Adventures of Robin Hood

Errol Flynn was born to parents Theodore Flynn, a respected biologist, and Marrelle Young, an adventurous young woman. Young Flynn was a rambunctious child who could be counted on to find trouble. Errol managed to have himself thrown out of every school he was enrolled in. In his late teens he set ...

Died following years of heavy alcohol and drug use. Autopsy stated cause of death was "fatty degeneration of the liver, portal cirrhosis of the liver and diverticulosis of the colon." 1909–1959

78. Grant Withers

Actor | Fort Apache

Appeared in over 200 films. He had worked as a salesman and newspaper reporter before breaking into movies near the end of the silent era. Tall and tough, his starring roles in major pictures soon gave way to supporting parts, mainly as a villain, in B movies and serials. His elopement to Yuma, ...

Sleeping pill overdose. Suicide. 1905–1959

79. Helen Twelvetrees

Actress | Is My Face Red?

Helen Twelvetrees was born Helen Marie Jurgens in Brooklyn, New York on December 25, 1908. Her interest in the theatricals was apparent at an early age. After graduating from high school. Helen embarked on a stage career. She participated in a number of plays in New York City, but gravitated toward...

80. Sybille Schmitz

Actress | Vampyr

The enigmatic actress remains one of the most interesting figures in German film. Although she achieved stardom early in her career, the tragic Sybille Schmitz could never fit in with her surroundings. Too "alien looking" for Hollywood, Schmitz never migrated to America like her more glamorous ...

Sleeping pill overdose. Suicide. 1909–1955

81. Philip Loeb

Actor | A Double Life

Mr. Loeb returned to Broadway following his unjust firing from "The Goldbergs". He starred in the Broadway production of "Time Out for Ginger" and was appearing in the play's touring company at the time of his suicide in the Hotel Taft in New York on September 1, 1955. Had he lived a few days ...

Sleeping pill overdose. Suicide. 1891–1955

82. 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.

...

Seconal overdose. Suicide. 1919–1948

83. 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 ...

Secobarbital overdose. Suicide. 1908–1944

84. Alma Rubens

Actress | The Americano

Alma Rubens was born Alma Genevieve Reubens in San Francisco, California. She was interested in entertaining at an early age. Like most young girls, she enjoyed fantasy play acting and by the time she was 19 had become a full-fledged star. She didn't have to wait long like some of the starlets who ...

Illness caused by heroin and cocaine addiction. 1897–1931

85. Julia Bruns

Actress | Quand on aime

Julia Bruns was born in 1895 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Julia Elizabeth Bruns. She was an actress, known for Quand on aime (1920), No Place for Father (1913) and At First Sight (1917). She died on December 24, 1927 in New York City, New York, USA.

Alcohol poisoning. 1895–1927

86. Max Linder

Actor | Seven Years Bad Luck

Although all too frequently neglected by fans of silent comedy, Max Linder is in many ways as important a figure as Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd, not least because he predated (and influenced) them all by several years and was largely responsible for the creation of the classic ...

Linder and his wife both drank Veronal, injected morphine and cut open the veins in their arms. 1883–1925

87. Wallace Reid

Actor | Carmen

The son of writer-theater producer-director-actor Hal Reid, Wallace was on stage by the age of four in the act with his parents. He spent most of his early years, not on the stage, but in private schools where he excelled in music and athletics. In 1910, his father went to the Chicago studio of "...

Prescription morphine overdose. 1891–1923



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