Famous people who died too soon

Reuters: REX Features; Getty Images: Justin Sullivan; Getty Images: ABC; Getty Images: MLB Photos
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Famous people who died too soon

Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak, who played Mel Gibson’s youngest daughter in the 2000 movie “The Patriot,” died Sunday at age 21. Here is a compilation of notable people who passed away too soon, leaving behind a legacy that continues to influence people today. See gallery

 

(Clockwise from top left) Skye McCole Bartusiak, Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Tony Gwynn.

REX Features
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Skye McCole Bartusiak

Born in 1992, Skye McCole Bartusiak (see photos) made her film debut seven years later in “The Cider House Rules.” She was best known for playing Mel Gibson’s youngest daughter in the 2000 war epic “The Patriot.” Bartusiak died on July 20, 2014 in her Houston home at age 21. She’d reportedly suffered seizures, though no cause of death was immediately known.

 

More:

Latest news on her untimely death.

Getty Images: MLB Photos
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Tony Gwynn

Tony Gwynn (see photos) was one of the best hitters of his generation, finishing a 20-year career (all with the San Diego Padres) with 3,141 hits (where does he rank?), a .338 batting average and a record eight National League batting titles. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. Gwynn died on June 16, 2014, at age 54.
 

More:

Cause of death

Address of the Padres' park is an ode to Gwynn

Reuters: Luke MacGregor, file
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Peaches Geldof

Peaches Geldof (see photos) was a writer, model and TV presenter, and the daughter of Bob Geldof and the late Paula Yates. Geldof died unexpectedly at age 25 on April 7, 2014.

 

More:

Cause of death

Peaches Geldof's last Instagram post.

Getty Images: Ed Rode, file
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John Pinette

John Pinette (see photos) was a stand-up comedian and actor. He was perhaps best known for playing a pivotal role on the final episode of a highly popular sitcom (which show?). Pinette died at age 50 at a Pittsburgh hotel on April 5, 2014. The medical examiner's office says Pinette's death was from natural causes.

 

More:

See John Pinette videos.

REX Features
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Dane Witherspoon

Dane Witherspoon (see photos) was an actor who starred in the popular 1980s soap opera "Santa Barbara." He was the first husband of actress Robin Wright (what popular show does Wright star in now?). Witherspoon died at age 56 on March 29, 2014.

 

More:

See videos of Witherspoon's work.

Getty Images: Claire Greenway, file
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Frankie Knuckles

Frankie Knuckles, the Grammy-winning pioneer of house music who also mixed records for the likes of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, died at age 59, according to AFP. After learning to be a club DJ in New York, Knuckles moved to Chicago in the late 1970s and forged fame as one of the city's most influential dance music forces. By the late '80s, Knuckles and many of his peers were stars in Europe’s emerging rave scene. He continued to spin at clubs around the world until his death, including a gig at a London club in late March 2014.

 

Find: Music videos by Frankie Knuckles. Playlists.

Michael Kovac: Getty Images for Banana Republic
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L'Wren Scott

L'Wren Scott (see photos) was a high-end fashion designer who dressed Nicole Kidman and Michelle Obama, among others. The 6-foot-4 model who was dating this legendary rock star was found dead in her New York City apartment on March 17, 2014. She was 49.


More:

Cause of death

Getty Images: Gareth Cattermole
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Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman (see photos) was an Academy Award-winning actor (for which movie?), director and stage actor who appeared in more than 50 movies. In its front-page obituary, The New York Times called Hoffman "perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation." He was found dead in New York on Feb. 2, 2014, at the age of 46.

 

More:

Cause of death

 

 

What was his first acting role?

AP Photo: Cooking Channel
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Darryl Robinson

Darryl Robinson (see photos) was the host of "Drink Up" on the Cooking Channel and a famous mixologist who consulted many industry bar and restaurant owners. His show debuted in 2010, and reruns continue to air on the Cooking Channel. He died Feb. 5, 2014, at the age of 50.

 

More:

 

See the latest on Paula Deen

UK Press via Getty Images: Mark Cuthbert
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Paul Walker

Paul Walker (see photos) was an actor best known for his lead roles in the "Fast and Furious" franchise. Walker got his start by guest-starring on this show, among others, before finding great success on the big screen. He died in a fiery crash on Nov. 30, 2013, in Santa Clarita, Calif., at the age of 40.

 

More:

 

This film was released posthumously

Latest news on Walker's untimely death

Maria de Villota (Reuters)
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Maria de Villota

Maria de Villota (see photos) was a Marussia Formula One test driver from Spain. She was found dead (where?). De Villota had a horrific accident during a testing session in England last July in which she lost her right eye. She no longer competed and had instead become an inspirational figure for aspiring female drivers. De Villota died on Oct. 11, 2013, at 33.

 

More:

 

Who was her famous father?

Cory Monteith (© Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images)
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Cory Monteith

"Glee" star Cory Monteith (see photos) gained instant fame as the good-looking jock-singer Finn on the hit show. He was found dead in his hotel room (where?) at the age of 31. Before his death, he opened up to fans about his troubled past growing up and even did a short stint in rehab shortly before his death.

 

More:

 

He took on an intense role in his final movie

His tribute on 'Glee'

Alan Myers circa 1979 (© by Richard Creamer/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
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Alan Myers

Myers (see photos) was the drummer for Devo when the new wave band broke out with the big hit "Whip It" in the 1980s. The video (watch it here) and song featured Myers, who continued playing music after Devo's success. He was 58 when he died on June 24, 2013.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

 

He was one of SPIN's 100 greatest drummers of alternative music

What was his job after Devo?

James Gandolfini (© Action Press/Rex Features)
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James Gandolfini

Gandolfini (see photos) was best known for his lead role on the HBO hit drama "The Sopranos" (watch clips). He won three Emmy awards, three Screen Actors Guild awards and much critical acclaim for his role as mob boss Tony Soprano, whom he played from 1999 to 2007. Gandolfini was 51 when he died on June 19, 2013.

What caused his death ?

More:

His will is being called a tax "disaster"

He played a monster in "Where the Wild Things Are"

Vince Flynn in 2005 (© Jim Mone/AP)
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Vince Flynn

Flynn (see photos) was a best-selling author best known for his series of books that feature his character Mitch Rapp, a counterterrorism operative. CBS Films bought the rights to the character with plans of creating a movie franchise (who is pegged to play the lead role?). He was 47 when he died on June 19, 2013.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

He had dyslexia as a child

Rush Limbaugh was a fan

Michael Hastings, date unknown (© Blue Rider Press/Penguin/AP)
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Michael Hastings

Hastings (see photos) was an award-winning journalist best known for his interview with General Stanley McChrystal that led to McChrystal being relieved of his command of NATO forces in Afghanistan (read the story). His reporting took him to war zones in the Middle East, and he wrote two books about his experiences: "The Operators" and "I Lost My Love in Baghdad." He was just 33 when he died on June 18, 2013.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

He won a George Polk Award

Read about his death conspiracy

Jiah Khan in 2007 (© Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
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Jiah Khan

Khan (see photos) was a Bollywood actress, model and singer who was born in America and grew up in London before starting her short career in entertainment. Khan started out as a trained opera singer and started recording songs before she was 18. She made her film debut in the romantic thriller "Nishabd." She was just 25 when she died on June 3, 2013.

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

Her boyfriend is suspected of playing a role in her death

See photos of her boyfriend

Zach Sobiech (© Tony Nelson/Retna Ltd./Corbis)
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Zach Sobiech

Minnesota teen Sobiech (see photos), who wrote the viral hit and farewell song "Clouds," was just 18 when he died on May 20, 2013. He is credited for giving people with fatal diseases hope.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Watch him perform

Cynthia Brown, date unknown (© Human Rights Watch/AP)
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Cynthia Brown

Brown (see photos) was an activist and a key leader of the international advocacy group Human Rights Watch. She is credited for helping extend the human rights movement to women’s rights. She died May 12, 2013, at 60 years old.

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

She fought against child marriage

She pushed for war crime investigations

Jeff Hanneman in 2001 (© Stacy Kranitz/Corbis)
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Jeff Hanneman

Hanneman (see photos) was a guitarist and founding member of iconic thrash metal band Slayer. The guitarist had recently begun writing songs with the band while slowly recovering from what was believed to be a spider bite that nearly cost him his arm after he failed to seek immediate treatment. He died May 2, 2013, at just 49 years old.

 

What caused his death?
 

More:

Watch Slayer perform

He won two Grammys

Chris Kelly (right) in 1992 (© Michael Benabib/Retna Ltd./Corbis)
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Chris Kelly

Kelly was just 13 when he and fellow Kris Kross member Chris Smith debuted their multiplatinum album "Totally Krossed Out" (with this famous single) in 1992 after being discovered at an Atlanta mall. He died May 1, 2013.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

With whom did Kelly and Smith tour?

Their video game

Roger Ebert in 2000 (© Fred Jewell/AP)
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Roger Ebert

Ebert (see photos) was a legendary film critic who became a household name after winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1975. He also hosted movie-review TV shows with the late Tribune film critic Gene Siskel (watch a clip from the show) and Richard Roeper. Cancer took Ebert's ability to talk, eat or drink, but he continued to work and granted interviews to discuss his new life and synthetic voice. He died April 4, 2013, at 70 years old.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

He won a Pulitzer for distinguished criticism

Watch an interview with Oprah

Shain Gandee (© Amy Sussman/Invision/AP)
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Shain Gandee

MTV reality show "Buckwild" star Gandee (see photos) was just 21 when he died on April 1, 2013. The show followed nine young adults in a rural area of West Virginia, and Gandee was known as the former high school prom king.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Watch a clip of "Buckwild"

Two others died with Gandee

Mindy McCready in 2005 (© ZUMA/Rex Features)
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Mindy McCready

McCready was a country music singer known for her strong voice (watch her perform) and turbulent personal life (she was featured on "Celebrity Rehab" with Dr. Drew). She was just 37 when she died on Feb. 17, 2013.

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

Listen to her hit "Guys Do It All the Time"

She was engaged to actor Dean Cain

Jenni Rivera in 2010 (© Michael Caulfield/WireImage)
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Jenni Rivera

Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera (watch her music videos) died on Dec. 9, 2012. The Latin Grammy nominee (what did her fans call her?) was just 43 years old.

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

Who died with her?

What style of Mexican music did she especially enjoy? | Listen to it

Hector Camacho in 2005 (© Clay Patrick McBride/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
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Hector Camacho

Puerto Rican boxer Héctor Camacho (see photos) was known for his success in a number of different weight classes and, as a result, was the first boxer to be called a septuple champion (what’s that?) of minor and major championship titles. He died on Nov. 24, 2012, at age 50.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Who else died following the incident?

What was his nickname?

Watch clips of him in the ring

Mitch Lucker in 2010 (© Sipa USA/Rex Features)
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Mitch Lucker

Mitch Lucker, the lead vocalist for Suicide Silence (what type of music do they play?) died on Nov. 1, 2012, at age 28. Lucker (see photos) and his friends formed the band in 2002.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What did his wife say after his death?

Watch Suicide Silence’s music videos                                    

Natina Reed in 2000 (© Rose Prouser/Newscom/Reuters)
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Natina Reed

Blaque (what does it stand for?) member Natina Reed was known for her rapping skills and was a protégée of this late female rapper. Reed (see photos) was just 32 years old when she unexpectedly died on Oct. 26, 2012. 

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

Watch Blaque’s “Bring It All to Me” video

What cheerleading film did she have a role in? | Watch clips of the movie

Sammi Kane Kraft in 2005 (© Startraks Photo/Rex Features)
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Sammi Kane Kraft

Sammi Kane Kraft (see photos) was a multitalented youngster, known for her acting and athletic ability (what major sports event did she participate in?). She died on Oct. 9, 2012, at just 20 years of age.

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

What sport did she play?

What 2005 film did she star in? | Watch clips

Sahara Davenport (© Startraks Photo/Rex Features)
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Sahara Davenport

In addition to being a well-known drag queen and reality television contestant (on what show?), Sahara Davenport was also a classically trained dancer. He had recently released a remix of his second single, which peaked at number 35 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. Davenport (see photos) died on Oct. 1, 2012, at age 27.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Watch clips of Davenport on TV

Check out Davenport’s single “Go Off”

Michael Clarke Duncan in 2003 (© Peter Brooker/Rex Features)
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Michael Clarke Duncan

Actor Michael Clarke Duncan (see photos) was gentle giant John Coffey in this 1999 film. The role earned him multiple award nominations and future film and television roles. He died on Sept. 3, 2012, at age 54.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Who tried to save Duncan? | What was their relationship?

How tall was Duncan? | And how much did he weigh?

Joey Kovar in 2008 (© Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
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Joey Kovar

Joey Kovar, who starred on "The Real World" (what season?), died on Aug. 17, 2012. The former personal trainer also appeared on this VH1 reality show in 2009. He was just 29 at the time of his death.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What did the autopsy reveal?

Watch clips of Kovar on "The Real World"

Yvette Wilson in 2003 (© Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
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Yvette Wilson

"Moesha" star Yvette Wilson (see photos) died on June 14, 2012, at age 48. The comedic actress also had a role on this spinoff popular in the early 2000s. Watch clips of the show.

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

What other illness did Wilson suffer from?

What did co-star Shar Jackson tweet following Wilson’s death?

Sage Stallone in 2006 (© Jim Smeal/BEI/Rex Features)
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Sage Stallone

Sylvester Stallone’s son Sage (see pics of the two) was a director, producer, screenwriter and actor (what film did he debut in?). He was found dead at his home on July 13, 2012, at age 36.  

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What other film did he star in with his father?

What film won him the “Best New Filmmaker” award at the 2006 Boston Film Festival?

Rodney King in 2012 (© Matt Sayles/AP)
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Rodney King

Rodney King was the victim of a brutal police beating that sparked the 1992 Los Angeles riots (watch videos of what happened). King, 47, was found dead at his home on June 17, 2012.

 

What were the results of his autopsy?

 

More:

More details of his death

What was his inspiring plea for peace?

What reality show was he on? | Watch clips

Adam Yauch in 2009 (© Evan Agostini/AP)
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Adam Yauch

Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, was one of the founding members of the Beastie Boys. The group is considered by many to be pioneers in hip hop music. Yauch passed away on May 4, 2012, at age 47, shortly after the group was given this major honor.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What does MCA stand for?

Watch Beastie Boys music videos

Junior Seau in 2008 (© Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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Junior Seau

A longtime linebacker for this professional football team, Junior Seau is remembered by many as a sports icon (watch his highlights). The 43-year-old (see photos) was found dead on May 2, 2012 (where?).

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What happened the week he died? | What else happened following his death?

Watch videos of his memorial

Thomas Kinkade in 2007 (© Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
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Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade’s artwork (check it out) is so popular, it is estimated that one in every 20 American homes has a copy of one of his paintings. The artist (where was he born?) died on April 6, 2012, at age 54.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What did Kinkade call himself?

What were his daughters named after?

Whitney Houston in 2007 (© Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)
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Whitney Houston

Internationally known for her phenomenal voice, Whitney Houston (see photos) was often referred to as one of the best female pop singers of all time (watch one of her most famous performances). She died on Feb. 11, 2012, at age 48 (where?).

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

What was her final film? | Watch the trailer

Watch her music videos

How many consecutive number 1 hits did she have?

Heavy D in 2011 (© David Goldman/AP)
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Heavy D

Heavy D was a popular rapper in the '90s and was just starting to make a slow comeback. He died on Nov. 8, 2011, at age 44 (where did he collapse?) – one month after performing in a tribute concert for another fallen singer (who?).

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Watch his final performance

What’s his given name?

Which TV show was he on just before his death?

Amy Winehouse in 2010 (© Samir Hussein/Getty Images)
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Amy Winehouse

Blue-eyed soul (what’s that?) hits such as "Rehab" and "Back to Black" propelled Amy Winehouse to international fame. The troubled (what was her arrest record?) British songstress died on July 23, 2011, at age 27.

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

Check out the album released after her death

Watch her perform live

How can you do her famous hair?

Nate Dogg in 2006 (© Todd Williamson/FilmMagic)
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Nate Dogg

Nate Dogg was widely recognized as the singer in several huge rap hits, including this collaboration with Warren G. He was the cousin of rapper Snoop Dogg, with whom he also performed. Nate Dogg was 41 when he died in Long Beach, Calif., on March 15, 2011.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What’s his given name?

Watch his music videos

What other famous musicians were Nate’s cousins?

Corey Haim in 2009 (© Joey Foley/FilmMagic)
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Corey Haim

Corey Haim became a Hollywood teen idol in the '80s after starring in movies like "Silver Bullet" and "License to Drive." He also became good friends with and made several movies with another '80s heartthrob (who?). Haim (see photos) died on March 10, 2010, at age 38.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What’s his most popular film?

Watch clips of the reality show he was on

Brittany Murphy in 2009 (© Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
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Brittany Murphy

Actress Brittany Murphy is probably best known for her roles in the films "Clueless," "8 Mile," and this psychological thriller. She was 32 years old when she collapsed and died on Dec. 20, 2009 (where?).

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

Brittany’s husband (who?) died five months later | From what?

Her final film role was in this psychological thriller | Watch a clip

Patrick Swayze in 2006 (© Profile Press/Rex Features)
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Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze (see photos) had an acting career that spanned 30 years, with roles in popular films like "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost" (watch clips). He also penned a number of hits, such as this popular power ballad. Swayze died on Sept. 14, 2009, at age 57.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Who was his actress wife? | See pics of the two

What was his final role?

Steve McNair in 2007 (© Steve Ruark/AP)
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Steve McNair

Star NFL quarterback (for what team?) Steve McNair (what was his nickname?) was believed to have been sleeping when he died on July 4, 2009, at age 36. McNair (see photos) was also an award-winning player for his college team, Alcorn State.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Who was with him?

What professional team did he play for first?

Watch his highlights

Michael Jackson in 2005 (© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Michael Jackson

Fans all over the world mourned after music icon Michael Jackson (see photos), also known as the "King of Pop,” died on June 25, 2009 (where?). The 50-year-old died weeks before kicking off his "This Is It" tour in London.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What’s his final film?

When did his famous pet die? | What was the cause?

His doctor's conviction

Watch his music videos

Getty Images: ABC
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Farrah Fawcett

Farrah Fawcett (see photos), born Ferrah Leni "Farrah" Fawcett, was an actress and sex symbol most notable for her role in "Charlie's Angels" (watch clips) in the 1970s. In 1976, an iconic poster of Fawcett (see photos) dressed in a one-piece bathing suit was released, eventually selling a whopping 20 million copies. She died on June 25, 2009, at the age of 62.


More:

Cause of death

She received a posthumous Emmy nomination for this show

Heath Ledger in 2007 (© Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
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Heath Ledger

This foreign-born (where was his birth place?) star of a controversial hit film left behind a young daughter (who’s her famous mother?) when he died on Jan. 22, 2008, at age 28. Ledger directed music videos (including this one with Ben Harper) in addition to his acting roles.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Read about the investigation into his death

What award did Ledger win following his death? | For what film?

What was his final film?

Sean Taylor in 2007 (© Evan Vucci/AP)
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Sean Taylor

The NFL safety (for what team?) from Miami died in his hometown on Nov. 27, 2007, at age 24. He had around 300 tackles and this many interceptions during his professional career.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

How was he remembered?

How did his team honor him?

Anna Nicole Smith in 2006 (© Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
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Anna Nicole Smith

Former Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith (see photos?) died on Feb. 8, 2007, at age 39. Her death came nearly five months after her son Daniel's sudden passing (what happened to him?).

 

What caused Anna's death?

 

More:

What’s her given name?

See photos of her young daughter | Who’s her father?

Her partner's conspiracy conviction?

Pat Tillman in 2003 (© Photography Plus via Williamson Stealth Media Solutions/AP)
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Pat Tillman

Tillman was an NFL safety (for which team?) who enlisted in the US Army after the September 11 terrorist attacks and served missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He was just 27 when he died on April 22, 2004 (where?).

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Who received his final letter?

Check out the film that tells his story

What has been started in his honor?

Jam Master Jay in 2002 (© Peter Brooker/Rex Features)
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Jam Master Jay

Known as the DJ for the iconic 1980s group Run-D.M.C., Jam Master Jay (what's his given name?) was 37 when he died on Oct. 30, 2002 (where?).

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Who was said to have been involved in his death? | Who else was named?

Watch Run-D.M.C. music videos

Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes in 2000 (© Chris Pizzello/AP)
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Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes

One-third of a chart-topping '90s R&B group (who?), Lopes rapped through such hits as "No Scrubs" and "Waterfalls" (watch the music video). She died on April 25, 2002, at age 30 (where?).

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

How could Lopes be included in the group’s future tour?

Check out a documentary on her final days | Watch clips

Aaliyah in 2001 (© Jim Cooper/AP)
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Aaliyah

22-year-old R&B singer-actress (what was her final film?) Aaliyah (see photos) released a self-titled album a month before she died on Aug. 25, 2001. She passed away shortly after finishing filming the music video for this Billboard hit.

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

What was the result of the pilot’s autopsy?

What could be another factor contributing to the incident?

Watch her final video

Derrick Thomas in 1991 (© Bob Galbraith/AP)
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Derrick Thomas

Derrick Thomas (see photos) was a linebacker in the NFL (for which team?) known for his signature move (what was it?). He died on Feb. 8, 2000, at age 33.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What was his nickname?

What was he honored with posthumously?

What educational legacy did he leave?

John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1999 (© Mike Segar/Getty Images)
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John F. Kennedy Jr.

John F. Kennedy Jr., the son of the late President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy, (see photos of the two), was 38 when he died on July 16, 1999, along with his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, 33, and her sister.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Is there a Kennedy curse?

What did JFK Jr.'s former assistant say about the incident?

How soon after his father was elected president was JFK Jr. born?

Chris Farley in 1997 (© Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
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Chris Farley

"Saturday Night Live" funnyman Chris Farley (see photos) was known for his style of physical comedy (watch a clip of him on SNL). He was found dead on Dec. 18, 1997, (where?) at age 33. Eight years later, this posthumous honor was given.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Who found him?

What comedian was said to be Farley’s idol?

Princess Diana in 1989 (© Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)
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Princess Diana

The glamorous princess (what was her full name?) became a style icon (see photos) while married to Great Britain's heir to the throne (who?). Her life was cut short on Aug. 31, 1997, (where?), when she was just 36.

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

See the site where it happened

Who perished with her?

Who was blamed for her death?

Notorious B.I.G. in 1995 (© Mark Lennihan/AP)
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The Notorious B.I.G.

Brooklyn-based rapper (what’s his given name?) The Notorious B.I.G. was hailed as one of the genre’s greats (watch his music videos). He died at the age of 24 on March 9, 1997 (where?).

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Was blame assigned? | Who else died in a similar fashion?

When was his autopsy results released?

What were his other nicknames?

Tupac Shakur in 1993 (© AP)
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Tupac Shakur

Krissy Taylor in 1993 (© Mikel Roberts/Sygma/Corbis)
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Krissy Taylor

Krissy Taylor (see photos), the little sister of a supermodel (who?), was starting to have a promising modeling career of her own when she died on July 2, 1995. She was just 17 year old.

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

How tall was she?

What was her last photo shoot for?

Check out this organization formed in her honor

Selena in 1994 (© Pam Francis/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
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Selena

Grammy-winning singer Selena (see photos) was often referred to as "The Queen of Tejano Music" or the Mexican equivalent of this American pop singer. She was just 23 years old when she died on March 31, 1995 (where?).

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

Who was involved in her death? | What was her sentence?

Watch her sing

How many albums has she sold?

Kurt Cobain in 1993 (© Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
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Kurt Cobain

The grunge rock front man (for what group?), best known for the '90s anthem "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (watch the video), died on April 5, 1994. Cobain, just 27 years old at the time of his death, left behind a singer spouse (who?) and their young daughter.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Where was his body discovered? | By who?

What legendary musical group had a big influence on Cobain?

River Phoenix in 1988 (© WENN)
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River Phoenix

River Phoenix, fondly remembered for his role in this '80s film favorite, passed away on Oct. 31, 1993, at age 23. He was set to perform a Halloween gig with a rock-star friend (which one?) at this Hollywood venue when he collapsed outside.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What recently released film has Phoenix in it? | When was it filmed?

What non-profit organization was he a spokesman for?

Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1983 (© Lee Jaffe/Getty Images)
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Jean-Michel Basquiat

Brooklyn artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, backed by a well-connected friend (who?), shook up New York’s elite art world throughout the '80s (check out his work), until his death on Aug. 12, 1988. He was just 27 years old.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

A Basquiat documentary | Watch clips

Basquiat’s art was classed as part of these two movements

What was dscovered on one of his paintings in 2012?

Gia Carangi, circa 1980 (© Andrea Blanch/Getty Images)
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Gia Carangi

Gia Carangi was a sought-after cover girl through the mid-'70s and early '80s (see her famous shots) before her death at the age of 26 on Nov. 18, 1986. Some even consider her to be the very first supermodel (who has may have been the first?).

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

What addiction did she struggle with?

Who played her in an HBO biography? | Watch the trailer

 
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Len Bias

Len Bias was an award-winning forward for the University of Maryland basketball team. He died on June 19, 1986, at age 22, just two days after being drafted into the NBA (by which team?).

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What drug played a role in his death?

What major award did he receive just before his death?

Since his death, this piece of legislation was made in his name

This member of Len’s family, and promising basketball player, also died young

MSNE
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Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye (see photos) was a chart-topping singer-songwriter (listen to his music) who helped shape the sound of Motown Records in the 1960s. Since his death on April 1, 1984, Gaye has been posthumously honored by many institutions, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


More:

Who was responsible for his death?

Grace Kelly circa 1950 (© Everett Collection/Rex Features)
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Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly, also known as the Princess consort of Monaco following her marriage to this man, was an actress known for her stunning good looks, with some calling her the most beautiful woman of all time (see photos). She died on Sept. 14, 1982, at age 52.

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

Where was she when she died? | Who was with her?

Her last role in a film came in this 1956 musical comedy

John Belushi, date unknown (© Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
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John Belushi

One of the original cast members of "Saturday Night Live" (watch his skits), John Belushi was known for his outrageous sense of humor. The Wheaton native (where’s that?) died at the age of 33 on March 5, 1982.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What drugs were in his system?

Who’s one of his most popular characters? | Watch clips

What was he posthumously honored with?

Getty Images: Silver Screen Collection
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Natalie Wood

Iconic Hollywood actress Natalie Wood (see photos) landed her first big movie role at age 8 (in which film?). She was also nominated for three Academy Awards throughout her career (watch one of her famous roles). Wood died at age 43 on Nov. 29, 1981.

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

What was the recent change to her death certificate?

Whom was she married to?

What famous actor was one of the last to see her alive?

Bob Marley in 1980 (© AP)
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Bob Marley

Bob Marley, a Jamaican music legend, helped introduce reggae to the masses with tracks such as "Jamming" and “One Love” (watch the video). He was 36 when he died on May 11, 1981. What was his given name?

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Check out the book his wife wrote about him

Who directed a new Bob Marley documentary? | When did it come out? | Watch the trailer

Elvis Presley in 1970 (© Terry O'Neill/Getty Images)
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Elvis Presley

Still known as the "King of Rock 'n' Roll," Elvis Presley is remembered as a music icon as well as a Hollywood heartthrob (watch him in his final film). He died suddenly on Aug. 16, 1977, at age 42 (where?).

 

What caused his death?

 

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What contributed to his death?

See photos of his Graceland mansion | How many people visit it each year?

Steve Prefontaine in 1972 (© JK/AP)
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Steve Prefontaine

Steve Prefontaine (see photos) was a track and field runner who competed in the 1972 Olympics and was training for the 1976 games when he died at age 24 on May 30, 1975 (where?).

 

What caused his death?

 

More:
What did his home state do to honor his memory?

What 1997 film chronicled his life? | Who starred in it?

What was his nickname?

Bruce Lee in 1972 (Courtesy Everett Collection/Rex Features)
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Bruce Lee

Jim Morrison, circa 1970 (© Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
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Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison was an influential '60s rock lead singer (for what group?) also known for reciting poetry passages. He was just 27 when he died abroad (where?) on July 3, 1971. Watch the video for one of his major hits.

 

What is believed to have caused his death?

 

More:

Why is his cause of death is still in dispute?

Where’s his final resting place? | See photos

Who directed a biopic about Morrison? | Who played the title role?

Janis Joplin, circa 1969 (© Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
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Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin (see photos) became a rock icon on the San Francisco scene (where, exactly?) and is known for a number of hit songs, such as this (watch the video). She was just 27 years old when she died on Oct. 4, 1970.

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

Who found her?

Watch her belt out another hit

REX Features
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Judy Garland

Judy Garland (see photos) was an actress, singer and vaudeville performer best known for her role as Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz." Described by Fred Astaire as "the greatest entertainer who ever lived," Garland (see her filmography) died on June 22, 1969, of a drug overdose at age 47.

More:

Who does Liza Minnelli say should not portray Garland?

Jimi Hendrix in 1968 (© David Redfern/Getty Images)
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Jimi Hendrix

Otis Redding in 1967 (© AP)
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Otis Redding

Otis Redding (see photos) was a renowned soul singer famous for this signature song (watch him sing it). The man known as “The King of Soul” died on Dec. 10, 1967, at age 26.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Who was the only survivor?

What hugely popular song was released after his death? | Watch videos

Who’s backing band did he work for when he was young?

Ernie Davis in 1962 (© AP)
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Ernie Davis

Ernie Davis (see photos) achieved an African-American sports milestone in 1961 (what was it?) and was set to play in the NFL (for which team?) when he died on May 18, 1963. He was just 23 years old.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What university did he play for?

What U.S. president was a big fan of Davis?

Davis’ story was chronicled on this film | Who played Davis? | Watch clips

Sylvia Plath, circa 1950s (© Bettmann/Corbis)
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Sylvia Plath

Poet and writer Sylvia Plath (see photos) is best known for her collections of poetry (check them out) and her only novel "The Bell Jar" (shop for it here). She died on Feb. 11, 1963, at age 30.

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

What mental illness did Plath reportedly suffer from?

Which of her family members also died this way?

Check out the biopic made of her life | Who played Sylvia?

Marilyn Monroe, circa 1953 (© Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
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Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe (see photos) remains Hollywood’s quintessential sex symbol. She was drooled over in movies such as "Some Like It Hot" and "The Seven Year Itch." 2012 marked 50 years since her death on Aug. 5, 1962. She was just 36 years old.

 

What reportedly caused her death?

 

More:

How do others think she died?

What film about her was made recently? | Who played the title role?

Her legacy in the world of beauty

Buddy Holly, circa 1950 (© AP)
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Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly (what’s his real name) was an early rock 'n' roll star whose death on Feb. 3, 1959, is remembered as "The Day the Music Died." Holly (watch one of his big hits) was just 22 years old.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Who was with him?

Where was his final gig? | The venue was given this honor in 2011

This pop song was written in his honor | By who? | Watch it being performed

James Dean in 1955 (© AP)
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James Dean

James Dean (see photos) personified "cool" in "Rebel Without a Cause" (watch clips), released in 1955. He died on Sept. 30 that year (where?). He was just 22 years old.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What happened two hours before he died?

Who was with him when he died?

What 1955 film earned him a posthumous Oscar nod? | Watch clips

Stephen Crane, circa 1897 (© Kean Collection/Getty Images)
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Stephen Crane

Author Stephen Crane (see photos) penned numerous short stories, poems and newspaper articles but gained the most recognition for his Civil War novel, "The Red Badge of Courage." He died on June 5, 1900, at age 28 (where?).

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

Whose trial was he a witness for?

His famous work goes Hollywood | Watch clips

Painting of Emily Bronte, date unknown (© Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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Emily Bronte

Drawing of John Keats, date unknown (© Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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John Keats

The English Romantic poet John Keats made his mark with a series of odes (including this well-regarded poem) shortly before dying on Feb. 23, 1821 (where?). He was just 26 years old.

 

What caused his death?

 

More:

What’s it say on his tombstone? | Where is he buried? | What other famous poet is buried here?

Shop for his collections of work

Illustration of Joan of Arc, date unknown (© Time Life Pictures/Mansell/Getty Images)
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Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc famously led the French army against the English (in what war?) when she was just 19 years old (who did she claim she got her orders from?). She accomplished heroic feats (such as this) until her death on May 30, 1431.

 

What caused her death?

 

More:

She lives on in sainthood and is the patron saint of this

Check out how she's immortalized in Paris