Though they may seem to have hit the jackpot when it comes to possessing those things mere mortals like us lust after – fame, fortune, good looks – celebrities are really just regular people who have high profile jobs. This has never been more apparent than by taking a closer look at their relationships. Everyone adores a good love story but these stars prove that though you may call Tinseltown your home, not every romance ends in happily-ever-after. Here are 10 celebrity love stories that ended in tragedy.
10. Simon Atlee & Petra Nemcova
In a split second, a dream vacation turned into a nightmare for 25-year-old Sports Illustrated model Petra Nemcova and her 33-year-old photographer boyfriend Simon Altee. The couple, who in 1994 chose a Thailand resort as their fairy-tale getaway, were hurled from their beach-front bungalow into the sea after a tsunami hit the island. For eight agonizing hours, the Czech-born model clung to a palm tree until she was finally rescued. She suffered a broken pelvis and internal injuries which saw her spending six weeks in the hospital. Altee, was not so lucky. Initially presumed missing, the Brit’s body was found months later, buried in the mud just a few miles away from the bungalow they had been calling home.
9. Mike Todd & Elizabeth Taylor
To be known as the only husband that Elizabeth Taylor didn’t divorce is a pretty big feat. The third marriage for the Cleopatra star (she was married a total of eight times) and the third for Todd (a Hollywood film producer) at 24, Taylor was two years younger than Todd’s son from his first marriage. The couple’s 23-year age difference provided much gossip fodder as did the birth of their daughter Liza just six months after they said ‘I do.” Despite the negative tabloid attention, the pair seemed genuinely happy and in love, some commenting that Liz was the happiest they had ever seen her. That happiness would tragically come to an end when less than a year into their marriage in 1958, Todd’s private jet ‘The Lucky Liz’ suffered engine failure crashing and exploding on impact. Near the end of her life, Elizabeth called Mike one of the “loves of her life” along with 5th (and 6th) husband, Richard Burton and jewellery, of course.
8. Kurt Cobain & Courtney Love
Yes, their relationship was tempestuous, yes, the couple were notorious for their drug use, but when the news broke in April of 1994 that Kurt Cobain, lead singer of grunge band, Nirvana was found dead in his home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, we all wept at the tragic news. Kurt and Courtney were still unknown to the masses when they met at a nightclub in 1990. They were married in an intimate beach ceremony in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1992 and their daughter, Frances Bean was born six months later. Though conspiracy theorists allege Cobain may have been murdered (some say the letter he left reads more like an apology to fans than a suicide note) and that Love may have been involved, this has never been proven. Cobain was only 27 when he died leaving his baby daughter fatherless at age two.
7. Carole Lombard & Clark Gable
Hollywood’s ‘Golden Girl’ Carole Lombard met her leading man while starring together in the 1932 film, No Man of Her Own. But it wasn’t until 1939 – seven long years later, that the couple eloped, just a few weeks after Gable’s divorce to his second wife was finalized. Known for their over-the-top gestures (Lombard once set Gable a pair of doves as a peace gesture after an argument) the couple seemed to have an idyllic life and were said to be madly in love. Sadly, just two years into their marriage, the plane Carole was traveling in while on a tour to sell war bonds crashed into the side of a mountain killing her instantly. She was 33-years-old. Although Gable would later remarry, those who knew him best said he never got over the death of Carole. At his request, the Gone With the Wind star was buried next to Lombard upon his death in 1961.
6. Natalie Wood & Robert Wagner
You would have to really love someone to marry them twice, and that’s just what Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner decided to do – first in 1957 and 15 years later. The two actors met when Natalie was just 18 and Robert, 26 and tied the knot one year later in 1957. They seemed like the perfect Hollywood couple. That is until 1961when Natalie was cast opposite Warren Beatty in Splendor in the Grass. Rumor has it that the Wood/Wagner fairy tale romance came to an end because Natalie and the handsome newcomer were making their own kind of ‘splendor.’ After five years of marriage, the two called it quits but couldn’t quit each other, reconciling and remarrying in 1972. But it seems that theirs was not destined for a storybook ending. Just seven years after saying ‘I do’ once again, Natalie’s body was found floating in the sea while on a boating trip with her husband. Although riddled with controversy, her death at age 43 was ruled an accidental drowning.
5. Diana, Princess of Wales & Dodi Fayed
Just one short month into the whirlwind romance of Diana Spencer and her Egyptian billionaire boyfriend Dodi Fayed, the couple were tragically killed in a car crash while vacationing in Paris. Similar social circles saw them kindling a relationship in 1996, but it wasn’t until Fayed, heir to the Harrods department store fortune, invited the Princess and her sons, William and Harry on a cruise aboard his yacht that the sparks really flew. What followed was a highly intense short- lived love affair that was well documented by the paparazzi. At the young ages of 36 and 42, a high-speed chase by the paparazzi saw the couple’s car enter into a dimly lit tunnel and crash into a pillar. Dodi was pronounced dead on the scene and Diana succumbed to her injuries a few hours later. Some say at the time of her death, Diana may have been pregnant although this has never been confirmed.
4. Natasha Richardson & Liam Neeson
U.K. actors Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson had just recently celebrated a milestone virtually unheard of in Hollywood – 15 years of marriage! Unfortunately, that’s where the celebrations stopped. While on a ski trip at Quebec’s Mont Tremblant Resort, Richardson sustained a head injury during a lesson in 2009. Initially thought to be okay, the mother-of-two was pronounced dead a few days later of an “epidura l hematoma due to blunt impact to the head.” Five years after her death, Liam still seems to be struggling with the loss. In a recent interview with Anderson Cooper, the Clash of the Titans star revealed, “There’s a period now in our New York residence when I hear the door opening…I still think I’m going to hear her.”
3. Sharon Tate & Roman Polanski
At first glance, it seems that Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script: in 1964, an aspiring actress (Tate) meets an up-and-coming director, (Polanski) and although the two don’t immediately hit it off, he casts her in his film (The Fearless Vampire Killers). They fall in love while on location in Italy and Tate moves into his home upon their return to London. They subsequently marry four years later and Tate becomes pregnant. Sounds pretty perfect, right? It would have been the perfect ending had the director yelled, ‘cut’ and the credits started to role. Just two weeks shy of giving birth, Tate was brutally murdered by a group known as Charles Manson’s ‘family.’ After being tied up at gunpoint, Tate was stabbed sixteen times. She was 26-years-old.
2. John & Jackie Kennedy
It was love at first sight for, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier. Introduced at a party by a mutual friend, the couple were married just one year later in 1953. Eight years and two children later, Kennedy became the President of the United States of America, and at 31 years of age, Jackie became the third youngest first lady in history. Tragedy ensued just two years into his presidency when JFK was assassinated while on a political trip in Texas. Even more tragic? Jackie was riding in the presidential motorcade when he was shot – once in the throat, once in the back and once in the head. Video footage shows that after the fatal shot to her husband’s head, Jackie climbed to the back of the car to retrieve something – some say a piece of her husband’s skull. Though Jackie would remarry, nothing would compare to her first. In an interview with Life magazine, she compared their years spent in the White House to King Arthur’s Camelot.
1. Cory Monteith & Lea Michele
Cast as love interests Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry on the popular teen musical comedy series Glee back in 2009, it wasn’t long before Cory Monteith and Lea Michele fell head over heels, becoming an off screen couple as well. The Canadian born, Monteith and New York gal, Michele proved to be an inseparable pair, choosing to spend their working and most of their leisure hours together (much to the glee of the paparazzi!) In a December 2012 interview with Marie Claire, Lea gushed about her beau, “For the first time in my life, I fell really, really settled and happy. I fell like the luckiest girl in the world.” That lucky feeling would come to an end in July of 2013, when Monteith was found in his Vancouver hotel room dead of an accidental overdose of heroin and alcohol at just 31-years-of-age. We later learned that Cory had struggled with substance addiction for a large part of his life and had recently completed a stint at rehab just a few months prior. Michele has since released her first solo album which includes a heart wrenching ballad entitled, If You Say So which references Cory’s last words to her: “You said I love you girl/I said I love you more/And a breath, a pause, you said, if you say so/If you say so/If you say so.”
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