Andreas Nikolaus Lauda was an Austrian Formula One driver, won the F1 World Drivers’ Championship three times, and was an aviation entrepreneur. He is considered one of the greatest F1 drivers that ever lived and is the only driver in the sport’s history to have been a champion for both Ferrari and McLaren. The legend died on May 20, 2019, in his sleep at 70 years old following a period of bad health and dialysis treatments for kidney problems.
Born as Doris Mary Kappelhoff, Doris Day was an American actress, singer, and animal welfare activist. She was featured in iconic films such as Calamity Jane, Pillow Talk, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and even had her own self-titled television show, The Doris Day Show. Her first hit recording, “Sentimental Journey,” became an anthem of people who wanted to bring the troops home in the 40s. In the next few years, she went on to have six more top ten hits on the Billboard chart. Sadly, she died on May 13, 2019, after battling pneumonia.
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American singer and actress. Guinness World Records named her the most awarded female artist of all time, and she still remains one of the best-selling musical artists of all time with more than 200 million records sold worldwide. Every single album she put out has been certified diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, or gold. Talk about talent! Houston was found dead in her hotel room on February 11, 2012. The 48-year-old performer died from accidental drowning in her bathtub, with the coroner’s report showing heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors.
Jerome David Salinger was an American writer who was most famous for his iconic book, The Catcher in the Rye. As a child, Salinger’s father urged him to go into the meat industry. Luckily, the legendary author was disgusted with slaughterhouses and found his passion for writing. After serving in World War II, Salinger’s literary success took off when he signed a deal with The New Yorker. He lived the last half of his life in seclusion, giving his last interview in 1980 before passing away on January 27, 2010. Salinger died of natural causes at the ripe old age of 91.
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer-songwriter and dancer who earned himself the nickname “King of Pop” for being one of the most influential entertainers of all time. His career lasted more than 40 years and it all started when he was six years old. “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” Thriller, and an appearance in The Wiz all helped further Jackson’s superstar career. Jackson's career began to appear more often in tabloids for his unusual lifestyle, but that didn’t hinder his career—neither did the child sexual abuse allegations. Michael Jackson died suddenly from cardiac arrest at the age of 50 on June 25, 2009. His death was later ruled a homicide.
Robin McLaurin Williams was an American actor and comedian. Williams started out performing stand-up comedy and is credited with leading San Francisco’s comedy revolution. He was able to continue stand-up while acting and has become well-known for his improvisation and funny character voices. He has been nominated four times for Academy Awards, won Best Supporting Actor for his skills in Good Will Hunting, two Primetime Emmy Awards, seven Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Grammys. On August 11, 2014, Williams committed suicide in his home. The legendary actor was 63.
Paul William Walker IV was an American actor and philanthropist who is best known for his role in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Films like She’s All That and Brokedown Palace placed him firmly in the Hollywood scene, and he went on to star in many more successful movies. Walker died at age 40 on November 30, 2013, in the middle of shooting the seventh film in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Walker was the passenger in a Porsche Carrera GT, which his friend Roger Rodas was driving when the car crashed into a lamppost and caught on fire, killing both men.
Keith Charles Flint was an English vocalist, dancer, and motorcycle racer who was most famous for being a founding member and the frontman for The Prodigy. He also had his own band called Flint, owned a motorcycle racing team, and participated in the 2007 Spanish Motorcycle Grand Prix. The band had two hit singles called “Firestarter” and “Breathe,” which helped kick off the group’s success in 1996. Flint died from an apparent suicide on March 4, 2019, at age 49.
Karl Otto Lagerfeld was a German fashion designer, artist, and photographer who was famous for being the creative director of the French fashion house Chanel. He was also the creative director of the Italian fashion house Fendi, which is his own fashion label. Lagerfeld started his career in 1955 after winning a coat design competition. Lagerfeld is credited with reviving the Chanel brand after the death of Coco Chanel almost ended the fashion house. The fashion legend died from health complications as a result of pancreatic cancer at age 85 on February 19, 2019.
Elizabeth Jones Ballantine, better known as Betty Ballantine, was an American writer, publisher, and editor credited with helping create paperback books. Ballantine worked with her husband to create Bantam Books in 1945 and Ballantine Books in 1952. She is the recipient of two World Fantasy Awards for professional work and The High Kings, which is a reference book on the Matter of Britain that uses retellings to further the story. Ballantine died at age 99 after a period of declining health.
Frank Robinson was an American outfielder and manager in Major League Baseball who played for five teams. He was the only person to be named Most Valuable Player for both the National League and the American League. Robinson was a 14-time All-Star with an impressive record. In 1975, he became the first black manager in major league history and made into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. Robinson served in various executive positions right up until his death on February 7, 2019. At age 83, Robinson died of bone cancer.
Kristoff St. John
Kristoff St. John was an American actor who found stardom from his role in the popular soap opera, The Young and the Restless. His performance earned him 11 Daytime Emmy Award nominations, two Emmy Awards, and ten NAACP Image Awards. The 52-year-old actor died in his home from heart failure on February 3, 2019.
Cory Allan Michael Monteith was a Canadian actor and musician who was best known for his role as Finn Hudson on the Fox television series Glee. Monteith had a few small roles on various television series before he landed his part on Glee. After he found success from the show, Monteith pursued some film roles in Monte Carlo and Sisters & Brothers. In the middle of his rising career, Monteith was found dead in his hotel room on July 13, 2013, at age 31. The autopsy report revealed that it a lethal cocktail of alcohol and drugs had caused the actor to overdose.
Amy Jade Winehouse was an English singer and Songwriter who was famous for her deep, expressive vocals and talent at mixing genres. She often pulled inspiration from soul, rhythm and blues, and jazz to create her music. Every album she put out was a huge success, as evidenced by her five Grammy Awards in 2008. She also won three Ivor Novello Awards, a Brit Award, and numerous nominations. The musical legend died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, at the age of 27.
Tardar Sauce was given the name Grumpy Cat after photos of the feline’s always-angry looking face went viral. Her mean mug isn’t a reflection of her personality—owner Tabatha Bundesen says she’s actually very sweet—it’s a result of an underbite and feline dwarfism. This internet-famous cat had millions of followers on multiple social media platforms, has been in advertising campaigns, and made public appearances. At 7 years old, Grumpy Cat passed away on May 14, 2019, as a result of complications from a urinary tract infection.
Brittany Murphy-Monjack was an American actress and singer, with her breakthrough role being Tai Frasier in Clueless. Murphy started acting in Hollywood at the young age of 13, starring in the series Drexell’s Class. The actress also had a musical career and was in a band called Blessed Soul in the early 90s, going on to sing in movies such as Happy Feet. On December 20, 2009, Murphy died from a combination of pneumonia and an accidental drug overdose from the medicine she was taking to treat the sickness.
Gary Wayne Coleman was an American actor, comedian, and writer. He was best known for his performance in the television series Diff’rent Stroke and had a successful childhood acting career. The actor was four feet, eight inches tall as a result of a congenital chronic kidney disease and the medications used to treat it. He went through two kidney transplants, both of which were unsuccessful, and had to attend dialysis often. The actor fell down a set of stairs and suffered an epidural hematoma, a brain bleed. He died two days later on May 28, 2012, at age 42.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman was an American actor, theatre director, and producer who was best known for playing supporting roles as bad guys. He started out on Law & Order in 1991 and went on to be in many films such as Boogie Nights, Patch Adams, and The Big Lebowski. The actor appeared in 55 movies, one miniseries, and 19 stage productions during his 22-year long career. Hoffman has won awards including an Oscar for Best Actor, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. On February 2, 2014, the 46-year old actor was found dead in his apartment from a drug overdose.
Tim Bergling, known by his stage name Avicii, was a Swedish DJ, songwriter, and electronic musician best known for his talent at audio programming and remixing records. He put two albums out before his death, both of which received positive reviews and were successful. “Wake Me Up” rose to the top of most European and American music charts, showing promise for the young musician’s future. Unfortunately, Avicii stopped touring in 2016 due to health problems and was found dead on April 20, 2018, from suicide.
Anton Yelchin was an American actor who was most famous for his roles in the recent Star Trek remakes in 2009, 2013, and 2016. He first found fame in the late '90s when he appeared in Steven Spielberg’s television miniseries Taken. Yelchin won the Young Artist Award for Leading Young Actor in 2002, won the 2009 Boston Society of Film Critics Awards for Best Ensemble Cast, and was nominated for five other awards over the years. On June 19, 2016, the popular young actor was found dead from a freak accident in which his car pinned him to a wall and killed him. Yelchin was 27 when he died.
Bobbi Kristina Brown
Bobbi Kristina Brown was an American television star and singer who rose to fame from appearing in the reality show Being Bobby Brown. Brown decided to pursue singing and acting after her mother, Whitney Houston, died. Those careers never really took off for the young star, and she was even turned down to play the role of her own mother in a biographical movie. Brown was found facedown in a bathtub in her home on January 31, 2015. Six months later, on July 26, Brown was taken off life support, died in hospice care at age 22, and was buried next to her mother.
Sammy Shore was an American actor and stand-up comedian, best known for being the co-founder of The Comedy Store. He found success as a comedian and became the comeback performance for Elvis Presley. In 1972, Shore opened up The Comedy Store with his writing partner Randy De Luca. This iconic club is credited with giving success to the careers of comedy legends such as Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, and David Letterman. He’s appeared in numerous films and was even voted Best Comedy Act in Atlantic City. At the ripe old age of 92, Sammy Shore died of natural causes on May 11, 2019.
Margaret Ann Lipton, better known as Peggy Lipton, was an American actress, singer, and model. She’s best known for her role in the television series The Mod Squad and her recurring role in Twin Peaks. Lipton had an impressive 50-year long career that led to her receiving a Golden Globe for best actress. After a mega-successful career, Lipton left the public eye to focus on her family. In 2004, Lipton revealed that she was living with colon cancer and getting treatment. However, on May 12, 2019, Lipton died of the disease at age 72.
Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who was famous for his work on Hawking radiation, advancing the theory of relativity, and quantum mechanics. He is immediately recognizable for his robotic voice that comes out of a speech-generating device. Hawking was diagnosed with ALS, a disease that gradually paralyzed him over the years and required him to use a wheelchair and speech device. On March 14, 2018, Hawking died peacefully in his home from complications as a result of his ALS at the age of 76.
Maya Angelou was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist who was most famous for seven autobiographies, the most notable being I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Angelou held many jobs before becoming a poet, including fry cook, sex worker, nightclub performer, actress, and journalist. For her inclusive and revealing work, Angelou has been honored with more than 50 awards and more than 50 honorary degrees from universities. The poetry legend died at age 86 on May 28, 2014, after a period of declining health.
Aretha Franklin was an American singer-songwriter, pianist, and civil rights activist who was most famous for the music career that earned her the nickname “The Queen of Soul.” Franklin achieved success after signing with Atlantic Records and putting out songs like “Respect” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” The superstar has 112 songs on the Billboard charts, won 18 Grammy Awards, and sold more than 75 million records worldwide. The legend died in 2018 from a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor.
Corey Haim was a Canadian actor best known for his roles in movies such as Silver Bullet, Dream a Little Dream, and The Lost Boys. Haim became well-known as part of the “Two Coreys” acting duo with Corey Feldman. The pair starred in several movies and had a television show together. Haim found success early, which led to money and drug-use problems for him later in life. Haim died on March 10, 2010, from an accidental overdose at the age of 38.
Prince Rogers Nelson was an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, actor, and filmmaker who was best known for his over-the-top personality, fashion style, stage presence, and strange lifestyle. He was a multi-instrumentalist with a wide vocal range and was known as being extremely talented with a guitar. Prince started writing songs when he was seven years old and signed his first record deal when he was 17. “Purple Rain” became his biggest success, earning him 24 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts and cementing his status as a legend.
Prince had to change his name due to a contract dispute, changing it to an unpronounceable character he called the “love symbol.” He remains one of the best-selling artists of all time, with more than 100 million records sold worldwide. Prince had been awarded seven Grammys, six American Music Awards, a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and was ranked at number 27 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Prince died on April 21, 2016, from an overdose on fentanyl, following a period of bad health. The music icon was 57.
Peter William Mayhew was an English-American actor and author best known for his role of Chewbacca in the Star Wars franchise. Mayhew played the beloved role of Chewy for 38 years, from the 1977 Star Wars original to the 2015 film. He’s been in several other films such as Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, Terror, and Yesterday was a Lie. The gentle giant wrote two children’s books that taught the value of inclusion and acceptance. The cherished actor died at age 74 in his home from a heart attack on April 30, 2019.
John Daniel Singleton was an American film director, producer, and screenwriter who is most famous for Boyz n the Hood. He’s been nominated for multiple Emmys and Academy Awards and is the first African American and youngest person to ever receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Director. The legendary director died at age 51 on April 29, 2019, following complications from a stroke.
Ken Kercheval was an American actor who is most famous for his performance as Cliff Barnes in the television series Dallas. He found his way into the acting scene with his Broadway debut in the 1962 production of Something About a Soldier. Kercheval battled with lung cancer and even had part of his lung removed as a result of the disease in 1994, but the actor died of pneumonia on April 21, 2019, at the age of 83.
Max Azria was a Tunisian fashion designer who is best known for his women’s clothing brand BCBGMAXAZRIA. He was also the designer, chairman, and CEO of the fashion house by the same name as his clothing brand, a global company that represented more than 20 brands. Azria has worked with celebrities like Miley Cyrus on clothing lines and has owned multiple stores for contemporary women’s clothing. The fashion icon died on May 6, 2019, from lung cancer at age 70.
Ermias Joseph Asghedom, known better as his stage name Nipsey Hussle, was an American entrepreneur, rapper, and community activist who was most famous for finding success in the West Coast hip hop scene. The rapper appeared in the early 2000s but didn’t release his first studio album, Victory Lap, until 2018. The album was a hit, earning Hussle critical acclaim and a nomination for the Best Rap Album at the Grammy Awards. On March 31, 2019, Hussle was fatally shot outside of his own clothing store. Nipsey Hussle was 33 when he was gunned down.
Harold Simon Belsky, better known as Hal Blaine, was an American drummer and session musician who found huge success for his iconic drumming talent. He is one of the most recorded studio drummers ever, with more than 35,000 studio sessions, 6,000 singles, is featured on 150 US top 40 hits, and many soundtracks to boast of. He’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. At the good, old age of 90, Blaine died of natural causes on March 11, 2019.
Coy Luther Perry III, better known as Luke Perry, was an American actor who was best known for his role in Beverly Hills, 90210. Perry struggled to get into the acting business, with almost 300 auditions under his belt before he got his first gig. Eventually, the actor found success in Hollywood. On February 27, 2019, Perry suffered a stroke that left him on life support. After another stroke, he was taken off the machines and died on March 4 at the age of 52.
Malcolm James McCormick, best known as his stage name Mac Miller, was an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He quickly found fame at a young age for his mixtapes produced under the Rostrum Records label. Miller’s last album, Swimming, earned the rapper a nomination for Best Rap Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. Following years of substance abuse issues, Mac Miller died from an overdose of fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol on September 7, 2019, at the young age of 26.
Kazuhiko Kato, better known by his pen name Monkey Punch, is a Japanese manga artist who received international acclaim for his work on the series Lupin III. He became the professor of Manga Animation at Otemae University and was also a visiting professor at the Tokyo University of Technology, both of which are high honors. The illustrator legend died of pneumonia on April 11, 2019, at the age of 81.
Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, better known by his stage name XXXTentacion, was an American rapper, singer, and songwriter who was famous for his controversial image and humble beginning as a SoundCloud rapper. He has several songs and albums which were certified platinum, earning him Best New Hip Hop Artist at the BET Hip Hop Awards and Favorite Album at the American Music Awards. Onfroy was skyrocketing to fame, but that all came to an end on June 18, 2018, when he was fatally shot in a robbery at a motorcycle dealership.
Lee Thompson Young
Lee Thompson Young was an American actor who is most famous for his performance in Friday Night Lights. As a child, Young found his love of acting while portraying Martin Luther King in a school play. As he matured, Young found roles in other successful series such as Smallville, Scrubs, and Rizzoli & Isles. It was when Young failed to show up to a filming of an episode of Rizzoli & Isles that his body was discovered on a wellness check. The actor had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on August 19, 2013, at age 29.
Born as Robert William Hoskins, Bob Hoskins was an English actor who was famous for lead roles in movies such as Mona Lisa, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and The Long Good Friday. He’s been the recipient of the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival, the BAFTA for best actor in a leading role, a Golden Globe for best actor, and multiple nominations for his many performances. Unfortunately, Hoskin’s seemingly unstoppable career came to a halt when he left Hollywood due to Parkinson’s disease. Shortly after his retirement, Hoskins died from pneumonia at age 71 on April 29, 2014.