Celebrities You Didn’t Know Already Passed Away
via Gram Parsons - Topic / Youtube
We all have our favorite stars, those individuals who bring joy and inspiration into our lives through their talents. However, when we lose these beloved figures, it leaves us with a profound sense of loss. Join us as we delve into the lives of celebrities you may not have known have already left us, each leaving an indelible mark on our hearts.
Known for his iconic roles in Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, Omar Sharif was an Egyptian actor whose career spanned over 60 years. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2015, he passed away on July 10, 2015, in Cairo, Egypt, at the age of 83. His son shared that, in his final months, Sharif could remember the broad strokes of his life but struggled with recalling details, highlighting the heartbreaking impact of Alzheimer’s.
Actor and ex-boxer Tony Burton, famous for his role as Duke in the Rocky series, fought his last battle with pneumonia on February 25, 2016, at the age of 78. A former two-time light-heavyweight champion, Burton’s journey from boxing to Hollywood exemplifies resilience and determination.
Often referred to as the fifth Beatle, George Martin played a pivotal role in shaping the sound of the Beatles. His collaboration with the band from Please Please Me to Abbey Road contributed to their unparalleled success. George Martin passed away on March 8, 2016, at the age of 90, leaving behind a legacy that forever altered the landscape of music.
Though not a household name, Nick Lashaway made notable contributions to film and television, with roles in Girls and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Tragically, he lost his life in a car accident on May 8, 2016, at the age of 28. Lena Dunham, his co-star in Girls, remembered him as talented and sweet, underscoring the impact he had on those who knew him.
Rob Knox, recognized for his role as Marcus Belby in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, met an untimely end at the age of 18. In a tragic incident defending his brother from a knife-wielding attacker, Knox lost his life on May 24, 2008, leaving behind a promising career that could never fully unfold.
Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, nicknamed “The King,” left an indelible mark on the world of golf, winning 62 PGA Tour events between 1955 and 1973. Palmer, who received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2012, passed away on September 25, 2016, at the age of 87, leaving behind a legacy that extended far beyond the golf course.
The man behind the iconic R2-D2 in Star Wars, Kenny Baker, stood at just 3’8″ but became a giant in the world of cinema. Baker’s contribution to film extended beyond Star Wars, including roles in Labyrinth and Time Bandits. He peacefully passed away in his sleep on August 13, 2016, at the age of 81.
Kimbo Slice (Kevin Ferguson)
From backyard brawler to professional MMA fighter, Kimbo Slice captured the world’s attention with his larger-than-life persona. On June 6, 2016, he succumbed to heart failure while awaiting a heart transplant. Kimbo’s journey showcased the intersection of raw talent and the challenges faced by athletes in the world of combat sports.
NFL legend Junior Seau played for 20 years but faced a tragic end. Diagnosed with severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Seau committed suicide on May 2, 2012, at the age of 43. His story sheds light on the long-term impact of football on players’ health and well-being.
Wrestler Dino Bravo, known for his strength in the WWF, faced an unfortunate fate outside the ring. Released from the WWF in 1992, he entered organized crime and was tragically murdered in a shooting on March 10, 1993, at the age of 44. Bravo’s story reveals the challenges faced by wrestlers outside the spotlight.
Hector “Macho” Camacho
Renowned boxer and showman Hector “Macho” Camacho met a tragic end on November 24, 2012, in a drive-by shooting at the age of 50. Camacho’s flamboyant personality and boxing prowess made him a unique figure in the world of sports.
Hall of Fame baseball player Kirby Puckett, known for his time with the Minnesota Twins, suffered a severe stroke on March 5, 2006, and passed away at the age of 45. Puckett’s legacy extends beyond his athletic achievements, as he brought joy and enthusiasm to the game.
Colorful TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager, known for his vibrant suits, lost his battle with acute myeloid leukemia on December 15, 2016, at the age of 65. Sager’s resilience and unique style endeared him to sports fans, making him a beloved figure in the world of sports journalism.
Boston Celtics All-Star Reggie Lewis collapsed during practice on July 27, 1993, at the age of 27, succumbing to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Lewis, known for his on-court excellence and contributions to the community, left a lasting impact on Boston sports.
Versatile actor Windell Middlebrooks, known for his roles in TV shows and commercials, died of a pulmonary embolism on March 9, 2015, at the age of 36. Middlebrooks’ diverse body of work showcased his talent and left a void in the entertainment industry.
Talia Joy Castellano
Young YouTube sensation Talia Joy Castellano, an honorary CoverGirl, lost her battle with cancer on July 16, 2013, at the tender age of 13. Talia’s positive spirit and passion for makeup inspired many, and her legacy continues to touch hearts around the world.
Influential rock star Gram Parsons, known for his contributions to The Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, passed away on September 19, 1973, at the age of 26. Parsons’ role in shaping the genre of country-rock endures, and his story remains a part of music history.
YouTuber and star of Stevie TV, Stevie Ryan, took her own life on July 1, 2017, at the age of 33, battling depression. Ryan’s comedic talent and impressions garnered a substantial following, and her untimely death shed light on the challenges individuals face in the public eye.
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Zsa Zsa Gabor, a legendary actress known for her glamour, wit, and larger-than-life personality, passed away on December 18, 2016, at the age of 99. With a career spanning over 30 films, Gabor became famous not just for her acting but for simply being “Zsa Zsa Gabor.” Her unforgettable quotes, racy quips, and glamorous style made her a true Hollywood icon. Despite facing health challenges after a car crash in 2002 that left her partially paralyzed, Gabor lived a full life, leaving behind a legacy of elegance and charisma.
Glenn Quinn, recognized by fans of “Angel” and “Roseanne,” met a tragic end on December 3, 2002, at the age of 32. Quinn, who played Doyle on “Angel” and Becky’s boyfriend on “Roseanne,” was initially on the path to stardom, with connections to Hollywood’s elite. However, he succumbed to the temptations and vices that often accompany fame, struggling with a heroin addiction. On that fateful day, Quinn tragically overdosed on heroin while sleeping on a friend’s couch, extinguishing one of the promising stars of his time.
George Reeves, best known for his portrayal of Superman in the early days of television, faced personal and professional challenges that culminated in his mysterious death on June 16, 1959. Reeves, feeling typecast due to his iconic Superman role, battled depression and struggled to find substantial work outside of the beloved character. Whether his death resulted from suicide, accidental overdose, or foul play remains unclear due to questionable investigative practices. Reeves left a complex legacy, having played a superhero on-screen but facing real-life struggles that ultimately led to his untimely demise.
David Graf, the beloved actor who portrayed Eugene Tackleberry in the “Police Academy” film series, passed away on April 7, 2001, at the age of 50. A versatile character actor, Graf showcased his comedic and dramatic talents in various TV shows and films. Tragically, he suffered a severe heart attack while attending a family wedding in Arizona and could not recover. His untimely death marked the end of a career that brought joy to audiences through his memorable performances.
Rebecca Schaeffer, a rising star in Hollywood, had her promising career cut short by a horrifying act of violence. At just 21 years old, Schaeffer was shot in the heart by an obsessed fan named Robert Bardo on July 18, 1989. The young actress, known for her role in “My Sister Sam” and considered for the lead in “Pretty Woman,” became a tragic victim of stalking. Bardo’s actions prompted legal changes regarding stalking laws, but they couldn’t undo the loss of a talented actress with a bright future ahead.
Judith Barsi, a child actress known for her roles in TV shows like “Twilight Zone” and films like “The Land Before Time” and “All Dogs Go to Heaven,” endured a short but impactful career before facing a horrific fate. Barsi, just 10 years old, fell victim to her abusive and alcoholic father, Jozsef Barsi, who murdered her and her mother on July 25, 1988. The tragedy shed light on the devastating effects of domestic violence on children and left the entertainment industry mourning the loss of a talented young performer.
Monty Hall, the iconic host of the classic game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” left an indelible mark on television history. Known for his charisma and the infamous “Monty Hall problem,” Hall hosted the show until 1990 and continued to make occasional appearances when it returned in 2009. On September 30, 2017, Hall passed away at the age of 96 due to heart failure. His legacy endures through the enduring popularity of “Let’s Make a Deal” and the unique probability puzzle that bears his name.
Younger fans may not recognize Rod Taylor, but his legacy in Hollywood is undeniable. His most famous role came in 1963 when he starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller The Birds. Rod Taylor appeared in more than 30 movies during the ’60s and ’70s, including The Time Machine, Do Not Disturb, and Nobody Runs Forever. In 2009, Rod Taylor played Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. He was 78 at the time, and it was to be his final role. Rod Taylor died of unknown causes on January 7, 2015, just four days before his 85th birthday. CNN reported that he died in his home, surrounded by friends and family.
Over more than 50 years in show business, Steven Hill gained a reputation as a talented, versatile actor. He worked with Dick Wolf, the producer of Law & Order, for nearly a decade, and Wolf called him “one of the truly great actors of his generation.” Steven Hill had a 10-year run as Adam Schiff on Law & Order. He passed away at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital on August 23, 2016, at the age of 94..
Rising star Laurel Griggs achieved the dream of countless stage performers: She made it into the cast of a Broadway show. In 2013, she landed the role of Polly in a revival of the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. On November 5, 2019, Griggs fell ill while working on a homework assignment. She was diagnosed with asthma at birth and, despite controlling the condition with medication, suffered a serious attack. Griggs, merely 13, passed away on Friday, November 8, 2019.
The late ’80s cast of Saturday Night Live was among the best in its long and storied history. Jan Hooks left SNL in 1991 to join the cast of the Atlanta-set sitcom Designing Women as the ditzy Carlene Dobber. Hooks enjoyed recurring roles on popular comedies of the next two decades, including 3rd Rock from the Sun, The Simpsons (voicing Apu’s wife, Manjula), and 30 Rock. After fighting a major illness, according to TMZ, Hooks died in October 2014 at age 57.
LFO (Rich Cronin and Devin Lima)
LFO, short for “Lyte Funky Ones,” was a trio that gained popularity in the late ’90s and 2000s with hits like “Summer Girls” and “Girl on TV.” Tragically, two of the band’s three singers died untimely deaths. In 2010, Rich Cronin died at age 35 after suffering a stroke. In 2018, bandmate Devin Lima passed away at age 41 after a diagnosis of adrenal cancer.
Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy
Siegfried and Roy, the German duo of Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn, were a major attraction in Las Vegas, known for their unique blend of stage magic and exotic animal shows featuring white tigers. In May 2020, Roy Horn died at age 75, falling victim to complications of the coronavirus.
Pete Burns of Dead or Alive
In the mid-1980s, British dance pop collective Dead or Alive, fronted by Pete Burns, scored hits like “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record).” Pete Burns passed away on October 23, 2016, after suffering a “massive cardiac arrest” according to a statement from his management. He was 57.
Thuy Trang played the role of Trini Kwan, the very first Yellow Ranger, in the first season of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers from 1993 to 1994. On September 3, 2001, Trang was a passenger in a car on a California freeway when the driver lost control of the vehicle. Trang survived the accident but died on the way to the hospital. She was 27.
Greg Giraldo, a comedian known for his stand-up and appearances on Comedy Central, graduated from Harvard Law School before pursuing a career in comedy. In 2010, Giraldo was found in his hotel room, not breathing, after a drug overdose. His family decided to take him off life support, and he passed away at the age of 44.
James Rebhorn, known for his familiar face and extensive acting career, specialized in portraying stern, middle-aged, and stubborn authority figures. In 2014, after a battle with melanoma that he kept at bay for decades, Rebhorn died at the age of 65.
Harold Ramis had a significant impact on comedy films of the ’80s and ’90s as an actor, director, and writer. He was involved in classics like Animal House, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and Groundhog Day. Ramis developed a rare condition called autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, which causes blood vessels to swell. He died on February 24, 2014, at the age of 69.
Lee Thompson Young
Lee Thompson Young starred on The Famous Jett Jackson and made the jump from teen TV star to adult roles, appearing in shows like Scrubs, Smallville, and Rizzoli & Isles.
In August 2013, Young was found dead in his Los Angeles home, having committed suicide. He was 29.
Michelle Thomas portrayed Justine on The Cosby Show and Myra Monkhouse on Family Matters. She also appeared in popular ’90s music videos for Boyz II Men and Dru Hill. In late December 1998, just two months into her run on The Young and the Restless, Thomas took a medical leave from the show to seek treatment for cancer. Unfortunately, the cancer took her life. She was 30.
Ashleigh Aston Moore
Ashleigh Aston Moore played Chrissy in the star-studded cast of Now and Then (1995), representing the peak of her career. Moore retired from acting in 1997 and tragically died in 2007 from a fatal overdose of heroin at the age of 26.
Edward Herrmann played various roles, often portraying characters with a vibe of superiority or entitlement. He was best known for his role as Richard Gilmore in Gilmore Girls.
Herrmann died in 2014 from brain cancer at the age of 71.
Michael Clarke Duncan
Michael Clarke Duncan gained fame for his roles in Armageddon and The Green Mile, earning an Academy Award nomination for the latter. Duncan suffered a heart attack in July 2012, and complications led to his death in September 2012. He was 54.
Rowdy Roddy Piper (Roderick Toombs)
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper, the persona of Canadian wrestler Roderick Toombs, was a prominent figure in professional wrestling and also acted in cult classics like Hell Comes to Frogtown and They Live. Piper received a Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis in 2006 and sought treatment. He passed away in his sleep at age 61 in 2015.
James Avery, best known as Uncle Philip Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, was a beloved TV dad and also voiced Shredder in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series. Avery passed away in 2013 at the age of 68.