A list of 20 actors who died younger than they should.
These actors who died young are some of the most recognisable names in the industry. There’s no doubt about it – many of these actors would have gone on to have highly successful careers in Hollywood had it not been for their premature demise.
1. Brittany Murphy (32)
Brittany Murphy was an American actress who was born in 1977 Atlanta, Georgia. Known for her movies such as Just Married, 8 Mile and Clueless, she was found collapsed her apartment. The cause of death was pneumonia and anaemia and blood readings measured a high level of prescription drugs. Murphy died in 2009 when she was only 32.
2. River Phoenix (23)
River Phoenix was a rising star. This actor was born in 1970 in Madras, Oregon. Phoenix was well known for his movies such as Stand by Me, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and My Own Private Idaho. On the 30 October 1993, Phoenix was attending the Viper Room bar owned by actor Johnny Depp. There were plans for him to perform with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers however, Phoenix had taken a lethal cocktail of heroin and cocaine, causing him to go into cardiac arrest. Phoenix died in early hours of the morning on 31 October 1993 at only 23 years of age.
3. Brandon Lee (28)
Brandon Lee is the son of the famous martial art expert Bruce Lee. This young actor was born in 1965 in California. His movie catalogue includes Rapid Fire and Bruce Lee: The Curse of the Dragon. The last movie Lee was ever to star in was The Crow. On set, Lee was killed when a prop gun went off. He was only 28 years old when he died on March 31 1993.
4. Heath Ledger (28)
Heath Ledger was a young actor that was born in 1979, Western Australian. Ledger is known for movies Brokeback Mountain, A Knight’s Tale and his unforgettable performance playing the role as the Joker in Batman: Dark Knight Rises (some say that this performance was one of the best villains to be captured on the big screen). On the 22nd of January 2008, Ledger was found dead in an apartment in California. It was later revealed that this was due to a combination of prescription drugs that he may have accidentally taken too many of. Ledger was only 28 years old when he died.
5. Heather O’Rourke (12)
Heather O’Rourke was born 1975 in California and is well known for her roles in horror movies Poltergeist 1, 2 and 3. O’Rourke was famous for being so young and having exceptional acting skills. On February 1 1988 O’Rourke passed away after a cardiac arrest. She also had septic shock caused by intestinal stenosis that had gone unnoticed and diagnosed. She was only 12 years old when she died.
6. Corey Haim (38)
Corey Haim was born in Toronto, Canada in 1971. He was well known for movies Lucas, License to Drive and the 1987 movie The Lost Boys. Haim developed a drug problem that significantly impacted on his acting career. Haim was also living with his mother in an apartment in California in order to take care of her through ill health. On March 10 2010, Haim overdosed on a variety of prescription drugs. He died at 38 years of age.
7. Paul Walker (40)
Paul Walker was born in 1973 in California. Well known by car enthusiasts, he starred in Blue and Hours but is best known for his role in starring in The Fast and Furious movies. On November 30 2013, Walker was involved in a tragic car crash and was killed instantly. He was only 40 when he died.
8. Lucy Gordon (28)
Lucy Gordon was a young British actresses. Born in 1980 in Oxford, she is known for starring in Spider-Man 3, Serendipity and The Four Feathers. Two days before her birthday on May 20th 2009, Gordon completed suicide in an apartment when she was only 28 years of age.
9. Lloyd Avery II (31)
Lloyd Avery II was born in California in 1974. His movie list includes Lockdown, Poetic Justice and Boyz n the Hood. Just after finishing the movie Shot in 2005, he was arrested for double murder and sentenced to life in prison for life. On September 4 2005, he was murdered by his cellmate. Avery was 31 when he died.
10. Tupac Shakur (25)
Tupac Shakur was born in 1971 in New York. He was an American rapper and actor known for his movies Gridlock’d, Juice and Above the Rim. On September 7th 1996, Shakur was watching a Mike Tyson fight at The MGM Grand. After, whilst waiting at stop lights, Shakur was hit when a car pulled alongside him and opened fire. He later died in hospital at aged 25.
11. Glenn Quinn (32)
Glenn Quinn was born in 1970 in Dublin, Ireland. He starred in movies R.S.V.P, Some Girl and At Any Cost. On December 3rd 2002, Quinn was found dead in a friend’s house at aged 32. An autopsy later revealed he had taken a heroin overdose.
12. Aaliyah Haughton (22)
Aaliyah Haughton was born in New York in 1979. She was a singer, model and actress that started in movies Romeo Must Die and Queen of the Damned. On August 25 2001, she’d finished filming a music video in the Bahamas and was heading back home. Her plane came into complications and crashed, killing Haughton at only 22 years old.
14. Cory Monteith (31)
Cory Monteith was born in Vancouver Canada. He is known for films Monte Carlo, Final Destination and All the Wrong Reason. On July 12 2013, Monteith’s body was found in a hotel room. An autopsy later revealed the cause of death to be a heroin overdose. He was 31 at the time of his death.
15. Chris Farley (33)
Chris Farley was born Madison, Wisconsin in 1964. He’s known for his comedy roles in movies such as Tommy Boy, Beverly Hills Ninja and Almost Heroes. Farley was someone who was obese but this was not the cause of his death. On December 18 1997, Farley was found dead by his younger brother after overdosing on cocaine and morphine (also known as ‘speedball’). Farley was just 33 when he passed away.
16. John Belushi (33)
John Belushi was born in California in 1949. He’s well known for movies such as Continental Divide, Neighbors and the classic Blues Brothers. Belushi, over the years, developed a heavy drug problem. On March 5 1982, Belushi was found dead in a hotel on Sunset Boulevard . He died at 33 years of age of a lethal mixture of cocaine and heroin.
17. Ryan Dunn (33)
Ryan Dunn was born in Medina, Ohio in 1977. Dunn is known for starring in TV series Jackass but has also starred in movies Living Will and Welcome to Bates Motel. On June 30 2011, Dunn was driving his Porsche 911 GT3 when he lost control of car and hit a tree. He was killed instantly at age 33, just after his birthday.
18. Bruce Lee (33)
Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco in 1940. He is known for being the best Kung Fu actor ever to be cast. His movies range from Enter the Dragon, Game of Death and The Fist of Fury. On July 30th 1973, Lee was suffering from a headache. He was given a painkiller and told to lay down but when Lee was later checked, he could not be revived. He was rushed to hospital but died before he arrived. He was only 33 years of age.
19. James Dean (24)
James Dean was born in Marion, Indiana in 1931. His movies include Giant, Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden. Dean was a car enthusiast and would race at Palm Spring Races. On September 30 1995, Dean was driving a Porsche 550 Spyder on route 466 when he was involved in a collision with another car. Dean sustained too many injuries and died on the way to hospital at aged 24.
20. Marilyn Monroe (36)
Marilyn Monroe was born in California in 1926. She’s an actress whose life ended too soon, known for starring in Some Like it Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Seven Year Itch. On August 6 1962, Monroe’s housekeeper could not reach her and so called her Doctor. On entering the property, Monroe was already deceased. A toxicology report stated that she had died from barbiturate poisoning. However, there are a number of different theories about her death including possible foul play. She was 36 years of age when she died.