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25 Of The Most Shocking Celebrity Deaths

Death is never an easy thing to accept, but sometimes people are taken much sooner than we expect. In Hollywood, death is in an even bigger spotlight than our own lives. We’re taking a look at the most shocking celebrity deaths over the years.

#1: Paul Walker 

Paul Walker
CREDIT: Andre Portfolio

With all the success surrounding Furious 7, no one has forgotten Paul Walker’s untimely passing. His buddy Vin Diesel has made sure of that, honoring Paul’s memory in many different ways since his death. On November 10, 2013, Paul and his friend Roger Rodas were leaving Paul’s charity Reach Out Worldwide for victims of Typhoon Haiyan when their vehicle crashed. Roger was behind the wheel and Paul was the passenger. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department declared both victims dead at the scene of the accident.

#2: Robin Williams

Robin Williams
CREDIT: Hollywood.com Staff Archives

The world was absolutely shocked when news broke that Robin Williams had taken his own life on August 11, 2014. It was later revealed that he had been suffering from severe depression, restlessness, and anxiety caused by Parkinson’s. This is why normalizing mental health is so important.

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#3: Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger
CREDIT: Hollywood.com Staff Archives

On January 22, 2008, Heath Ledger was found unconscious in his bed by his housekeeper, Diana Wolozin. Wolozin called Ledger’s friend, actress Mary-Kate Olsen, who then called a private security firm while Wolozin went on to call 911. Two weeks after his death, his autopsy read: “Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication” by the combined effects of 6 different medications, one of which was oxycodone.

#4: Michael Jackson

On June 25, 2009, Michael Jackson died while in his bed at his rented mansion in the Holmby Hills district of Los Angeles.The autopsy stated that he died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication, which has been the cause of much controversy since his death. His primary care physician, Conrad Murray, was convicted for “killing Michael Jackson” and sentenced to four years in jail, but was released after only two.

#5: Cory Monteith

Cory Monteith
CREDIT: Eva Rinaldi Celebrity Photographer

On July 13, 2013 at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in Vancouver, Canada, Cory Monteith was found dead in his hotel room. He had been scheduled to check-out that day and when he failed to do so, hotel staff entered his room and found his body. After an autopsy had been done and foul play was ruled it, it was announced that his blood levels had a mixed toxicity, consisting of heroin and alcohol, and it appeared his death was accidental.

#6: Amy Winehouse

On July 23, 2011, Amy Winehouse died from alcohol poisoning. In October of that year, a coroner reported that her blood alcohol level was 416 mg per 100ml (0.416%) at the time of her death, more than five times the legal driving limit.

#7: Whitney Houston

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On February 11, 2012, Whitney Houston was found unconscious in Suite 434 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, submerged in the bathtub. Her cause of death was not immediately known, but authorities ruled out criminal intent. The following month the Los Angeles County coroner’s office reported the cause of her death was drowning and the “effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.”

#8: Marilyn Monroe

On August 5, 1962, Marilyn was found dead in her home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California. The coroner, Dr. Thomas Noguchi (called the “coroner of the stars”), said that her death was caused by “acute barbiturate poisoning”, resulting from a “probable suicide”. Many theories cropped up after her death, varying from murder, most theories involved President John F. Kennedy or the CIA.

#9: Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy
CREDIT: S Pakhrin

On December 20, 2009, the LA Fire Department responded to an emergency at Brittany Murphy and Simon Monjack’s home. Brittany had apparently collapsed and Simon called it in. She was rushed to Cedar-Senai Medical Center, where she passed away from cardiac arrest later that day. It wasn’t until February 2010 that the coroner stated that the primary cause of Brittany’s death was “pneumonia, with secondary factors of iron-deficiency anemia and multiple drug intoxication.” The coroner later issued a report stating that Brittany had been taking a range of over-the-counter and prescription medications, probably to treat a cold, and these meds included “elevated levels” of hydrocodone, acetaminophen, L-methamphetamine, and chlorpheniramine.

#10: Kurt Cobain

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On April 8, 1994, Kurt Cobain’s body was found in his home by his electrician, Gary Smith. Smith had initially thought Kurt had been sleeping until he saw the slight blood coming from his ears and the gun near his body. The coroner’s report stated that  Kurt had a high concentration of heroin and traces of diazepam in his system. It’s approximated that his estimated death occurred several days earlier, on April 5, 1994. 

His death came only a month after his first reported suicide attempt, where he’d overdosed on champagne and Rohypnol, which resulted in a hospital stay. Shortly after that first attempt, his wife Courtney Love called the Seattle police, claiming that  Kurt had locked himself in a room with guns and was suicidal. An intervention was staged by Courtney and some of their closest family and friends in LA, but Kurt fled to Seattle where it is presumed that he planned to kill himself.

#11: Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman
CREDIT: Hollywood.com Staff Archives

On May 26, 2010 Gary Coleman was admitted to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in critical condition after falling down the stairs and hitting his head. By that afternoon, he was unconscious and on life support. He then died that same day. Controversy surrounded his death, after his ex-wife Shannon Price made the decision to pull his life support and theories started to stir up that she had pushed him down the stairs. The police ruled this theory out and stated that his cause of injury was accidental.

#12: Philip Seymour Hoffman

On February 2, 2014, Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead on the floor of his bathroom by his friend, playwright, and screenwriter David Bar Katz. It was later described as an accidental overdose, from a mixture of prescription medications, heroin, and cocaine.

#13: Aaliyah

CREDIT: Hollywood.com Staff Archives

On August 25, 2001, Aaliyah and several other members of her recorded company boarded a plane at the Marsh Harbour Airport in Abaco Islands, The Bahamas, to travel to the Opa-Locka Airport in Florida. Their plane crashed 200 feet from the end of the runway and exploded, subsequently killing all those on board (Aaliyah’s security guard Scott Gallin survived the crash, but died on the way to the hospital). The report on the crash determined that the plane was carrying 700 pounds more than it could carry. Originally, Aaliyah and her crew were scheduled to leave on the 26th, but finished filming her video for “Rock the Boat” earlier and wanted to leave as quickly as they could, meaning they would fly home on a plane smaller than the one they arrived on with all of their equipment.

#14: Anna Nicole Smith