For some celebrities, their rise to fame has been abrupt and tragically costly. Sometimes so costly that their lives are cut short too early. Whether from accidents or problems with addiction, too many artists have passed away long before their time. Meet 16 celebrities who died too young. They rose to fame and left us wanting more. Find out how they died, what projects they left unfinished and the legacy they left behind.
The Fast & Furious movies would never have become the blockbuster franchise they are today without the participation of Paul Walker. Although Paul Walker began acting very young, appearing in kids movies, it was not until “The Fast & the Furious” that he found a fan base that honors his memory to this day. Walker passed away on November 30, 2013, after a terrible car accident in Santa Clarita County, California. He and were killed when his friend, Roger Rodas, lost control of his Porsche.
The talent of Amy Winehouse amazed the world in the mid-2000s. Her talent as a performer and songwriter garnered her immense fame and several Grammy awards. Amy’s fame began to take its toll after a few years, when she fell victim to alcoholism and substance abuse. She died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011.
Cameron Boyce was a child actor known for starring in the series ‘Hey, Jessie!’ on Disney Channel and in movies like “Son como Niños”, alongside stars like Adam Sandler and Salma Hayek. His sudden death was a great shock for his fans and fellow actors, who learned of his death on July 6, 2019 due to an epileptic seizure that occurred while he was sleeping.
Selena Quintanilla is perhaps one of the greatest musical stars of all time, even after her death. Her hits continue to play on radio stations and her fans haven’t forgotten her, even though more than 25 years have passed since her death. The singer was shot and killed on March 31, 1995 by Yolanda Saldívar, a former nurse who was president of her fan club for some time.
Actor Corey Monteith
Corey Allan Michael Monteith was a young actor known for appearing in the series ‘Glee’, which generated a buzz in the 2010s thanks to its unique musical format that featured popular songs. However, behind the scenes, Monteith was battling demons and struggling with substance abuse. Finally, on July 13, 2013, his succumbed to his addictions and overdosed on heroin.
The Glee “curse” has claimed the lives of Corey Monteith and Mark Sallinger. More recently Naya Rivera, who played Santana, the villain of the series. Rivera died tragically on July 8, 2020 when she was with her son at Lake Piru. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning and it is believed that she managed to save her son’s life. He was rescued a few hours later.
Actor River Phoenix
When talking about celebrities who died too young, one cannot forget River Phoenix, Joaquin Phoenix’s older brother and one of the most talented actors of his generation. Like many other actors, River was a victim of drug and alcohol addiction, and although on several occasions he tried to conquer his vices, he ended up dying from an overdose on October 31, 1993.
Actor Heath Ledger
‘Brokeback Mountain’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ were two of the Australian actor Heath Ledger’s most iconic performances. He died suddenly on January 22, 2008. Although several attempts were made to resuscitate him, Ledger was pronounced dead around 3pm. Later it was learned that the cause was a lethal combination of prescription drugs.
Actress Brittany Murphy
Actress Brittany Murphy’s life ended on December 20, 2009 while she was at home. The official cause of her death was pneumonia but there are still many unanswered questions about what happened to her. Murphy’s career was full of box office successes, thanks to her appearances in films such as ‘Clueless’, ‘Uptown Girls’, ‘Just Married’ and ‘Riding in cars with boys’.
Actor Chadwick Boseman
A few weeks before his death, Chadwick Boseman, the star of ‘Black Panther’, shared a photograph on social media in which he was extremely thin. It was later learned that he had terminal colon cancer, which ended his life on August 28, 2020. Despite being diagnosed with the disease in 2016, Boseman continued his career in Hollywood and established himself as the first African-American to play a Marvel superhero.
Among the child actors who have died tragically, we cannot forget Matthew Garber, who played Michael Banks in the film Mary Poppins. The young actor died at the age of 21 from hepatitis. Matthew walked away from acting after gaining fame on ‘Mary Poppins’, spending a good chunk of his teens and early adulthood traveling. He contracted hepatitis on one of his trips and, although he managed to return to London for treatment, he died on June 13, 1977.
Anton Yelchin was the victim of a tragic accident when he was preparing to leave his home in Studio City, California, on June 19, 2016. He was found dead, the victim of injuries sustained when he was hit by his own truck. According to official reports, Yelchin left his garage and got out to close a large gate but a malfunction in his car caused the car to back up, hitting him suddenly and causing injuries that ultimately caused his death.
Swedish DJ Tim Berling, better known as Avicii, enjoyed great fame in life, with hits that reached the top of the pop charts. He collaborated with artists such as Robbie Williams, Coldplay and Rita Ora, among others. Authorities confirmed that the DJ died of self-inflicted injuries from broken glass. It was later revealed that Avicii reported suffering from depression, anxiety and alcoholism.
News of the death of singer Aaliyah shook the world on the afternoon of August 31, 2001. She was killed in a helicopter crash while on her way to filming a music video. Although her death occurred when she was just 22 years old, the singer left behind a musical legacy that she is known for to this day, thanks to her contributions to R&B, pop and hip hop.
Christina Grimmie was a singer straight out of the ranks of The Voice. She was born on March 12, 1994 in Marlton, New Jersey and died on June 10, 2016 in Orlando, Florida, while at an autograph signing. The cause of death was two gunshot wounds to the head and one to the chest. She was shot by a 27-year-old man who apparently had an obsession with the singer.
Actor Jonathan Brandis
Jonathan Gregory Brandis was a young actor who tragically lost his life on November 12, 2003. He died by suicide, hanging himself at his residence in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles. Brandis did not leave a suicide note, but his closest family and friends reported that the actor made comments regarding a suicide attempt, which tragically materialized.