IMDb Polls

Poll: The Most Famous Deaths Throughout History

Life and death is a common thing for everyone who has ever lived. But some deaths live longer that the death itself, and some made a difference and changed the way people live right now. Some stand out, either due to the life of the person or because of the way they died. Here is the list of famous deaths that will be remembered throughout history. Whose death do you think is the most significant?

"If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Discuss their death here

Make Your Choice

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    Jim Caviezel in The Passion of the Christ (2004)

    Jesus Christ. Death by crucifixion and founder of Christianity.
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    Michael Jackson

    Michael Jackson. Death by overdose. "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest entertainers in the history of music.
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    Princess Diana

    Diana, Princess of Wales. Died in a car crash. Activism and glamour made her one of the most popular members of the royal family throughout history.
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    Adolf Hitler in Triumph of the Will (1935)

    Adolf Hitler. Death by suicide. Dictator of Nazi Germany, regime was also responsible for the killing of an estimate of 50 million people.
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    Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln (2012)

    Abraham Lincoln. Death by assassination, shot at point-blank range in the back of the head. The 16th president of the United States, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy.
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    Martin Luther King

    Martin Luther King Jr. Death by assassination, shot to death. An activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement.
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    John F. Kennedy

    John F. Kennedy. Death by assassination, he was shot once in the back, the bullet exiting via his throat, and once in the head. The 35th president of the United States.
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    Elvis Presley, circa 1968.

    Elvis Presley. Death by Cardiac arrest. "King of Rock and Roll" and the best-selling solo music artist of all time.
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    Mother Teresa

    Mother Teresa. Died of health decline and heart failure. A Nobel Peace Prize winner, a Saint, a selfless missionary of charity.
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    Ingrid Bergman, Ward Bond, and Leif Erickson in Joan of Arc (1948)

    Joan of Arc. Executed by burning. A heroine of France and a saint.
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    Tsar Nicholas II

    Tsar Nicholas II. Executed by shooting. Russian last emperor, the fall of Russian empire.
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    c. 1953 Photo by Frank Powolny

    Norma Jeane Mortenson or Marilyn Monroe. Death by suicide by overdose. She was a superstar and cultural icon.
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    Mohandas K. Gandhi

    Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Mahatma Gandhi. Death by assassination, he was shot in the chest from a pistol at close range. He was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India's independence from British Rule, and in turn inspire movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
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    Grace Kelly c. 1954

    Grace Kelly. Died by fatal car crash. An Oscar winner and Princess of Monaco. She is one of the Greatest Female Stars of Classical Hollywood Cinema.
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    Louis Calhern in Julius Caesar (1953)

    Julius Caesar. Death by assassination, he was stabbed 23 times. He was a Roman statesman and military general who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. His political philosophy, known as Caesarism, inspired politicians into the modern era.
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    Grigory Rasputin in Last of the Czars (1996)

    Grigori Rasputin. Died from drowning after being unsuccessfully poisoned, shot 3 times and beaten. He was a Russian mystic and self-proclaimed holy man who befriended the family of Emperor Nicholas II, the last monarch of Russia, and gained considerable influence in late imperial Russia.
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    Christopher Plummer in The Assassination at Sarajevo (1975)

    Archduke Franz Ferdinand Carl Ludwig Joseph Maria of Austria. Death by assassination. The assassinations, along with the arms race, nationalism, imperialism, militarism, and the alliance system all contributed to the origins of World War I, which began a month after Franz Ferdinand's death, with Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia. The assassination of Ferdinand is considered the most immediate cause of World War I.
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    John Lennon and The Beatles in A Hard Day's Night (1964)

    John Lennon. Death by assassination, he was shot four times in the back at close range. Gained worldwide fame as the founder, co-lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist of the Beatles. His songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney remains the most successful in history.
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    Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard (1992)

    Whitney Houston. Death by coronary heart disease and drug use. With her exceptional vocal talent, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female artist of all time and she remains one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
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    Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman in Marie Antoinette (2006)

    Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. Executed by guillotine. The last King and Queen of France before the French Revolution.
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    Jayne Mansfield at home

    Jayne Mansfield. Death in a fatal crash. Her car crashed at high speed into the rear of a tractor-trailer that had slowed behind a truck spraying mosquito fogger shrouded in an insecticide fog. It went completely underneath it, shearing the top of the car off, and killing the vehicle's three adult passengers almost instantly. Shortly thereafter, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made it mandatory for all semi truck trailers to be fitted with under-ride bars, also called DOT bars or "Mansfield bars." The steel bar hangs from back of the cargo area and is designed to stop a car before it rolls underneath the trailer.
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    Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra (1963)

    Cleopatra VII Philopator. Death by suicide. She was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. Cleopatra's legacy survives in ancient and modern works of art
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    Saddam Hussein

    Saddam Hussein. Executed by hanging. The fifth President of Iraq. Saddam was convicted by an Iraqi court of crimes against humanity related to the 1982 killing of 148 Iraqi Shi'a, and sentenced to death by hanging. He was executed on 30 December 2006. Amateur footage of the event, unlike the official footage, included sound; witnesses could be heard taunting Saddam at the gallows. That video became the most viral video in Iraq to date.
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    Hilary Swank in Amelia (2009)

    Amelia Earhart. Declared dead in absentia. During an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 in a Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10-E Electra, Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. She was was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

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