Sadly, there is a long list of celebrities, artists, directors, athletes, and prominent public figures that have tragically taken their own lives. Whether is it the stresses of fame, financial strains, undetected mental disorder, or relationship issues, these 24 people went too soon and will be missed by family, friends, and fans.
Those in the public eye have a lot more pressure, and unfortunately the pressure got to be too much for these people to handle. A lot of us go through difficult times when we feel depressed, but we don’t have to deal with our every move being monitored under a microscope.
Celebrity suicides shock the rest of the public because to us they are iconic figures who are rich and successful and therefore must be happy. Many of them have had struggles with depression or other mental disorders that were left untreated or ignored until it was too late.
24. Robin Williams – Age 63
Perhaps one of the most recent and shocking suicides to rock Hollywood, actor and comedian Robin Williams hung himself in 2014. It was revealed that the actor had been silently struggling with Parkinson’s Disease, dementia, and depression. Comedians are often the most tragic figures of all – living their lives in secret darkness while the world saw an entertaining, inspiring, and moving actor that many looked up to. Williams’ death hit close to home with a lot of celebrities.
23. Dave Mirra – Age 41
Former Real World/Road Rules Challenge host, and BMX legend Dave Mirra committed suicide by shooting himself in the head in his truck in North Carolina. Hours prior, the host had posted a loving picture of his wife, Lauren. He has left behind two children with her.
Dave’s good friend and a BMX legend himself T.J. Lavin told TMZ following Mirra’s death, … “I just wish he would have called me. I would have jumped on a plane in a second. There’s always another way. If anyone needs help, just please get it. I feel sick about this.”
22. Sawyer Sweeten – Age 19
Sweeten is known for his childhood role on the show Everybody Loves Raymond. Family and friends were left shocked when the actor took his life last spring, 2015, by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Those closest to him said that Sweeten was concerned with money troubles, his fading career, and was being bullied over gay rumors. Sweeten left behind a twin brother.
21. Gia Allemand – Age 29
This Bachelor contestant and Maxim model disastrously tried to take her life by hanging herself with a vacuum cord in the summer of 2013. Gia was found and rushed to the hospital, but she was later declared brain dead and removed from life support two days following.
The reality star was rumored to be having relationship issues with boyfriend, NBA baller, Ryan Anderson. Gia had suspected he was being unfaithful in the relationship. The two had been fighting the day she died, Gia told Anderson that she still loved him. Anderson dropped Allemand off at her apartment at around 6 p.m. after running errands and told her, “I don’t love you anymore,” according to the report that was written.
25. Jovan Belcher – Age 25
This pro-footballer was all over the news when he shot his longtime girlfriend, Kassandra Perkins, nine times in front of his mother. The Kansas City Chief’s linebacker then drove to the Chief’s practice facility where he shot himself in front of his coach and manager. Witnesses say right before his death Belcher said, “I wasn’t able to get enough help.”
His post-mortem autopsy showed evidence that the athlete was suffering from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) caused by his repeated head injuries from playing football. CTE is known to cause aggression, confusion, depression, and memory loss. Sadly, the deaths of Jovan and Kassandra left their young daughter orphaned.
19. Lex McAllister – Age 31
Unfortunately, here is another Bachelor contestant on the list. What is this show doing to these women? Contestant on Season 14, Jake Pavelka’s season, Lex was found dead just earlier this year in January from an overdose of prescription pills. A member of her family released that she had struggled with bipolar disorder and depression.
18. Marilyn Monroe – Age 36
The iconic bombshell tragically died from a probable suicide due to an overdose of barbiturates. Marilyn was a sexual icon and infamous actress. She had men wrapped around her finger, but those close to her said that the star had “severe fears and frequent depressions” as well as, “abrupt and unpredictable mood changes.” This suggests that the actress may have been suffering from mental illness which could have led to her decision to take her own life.
17. Mindy McCready – Age 37
McCready was a well-known country singer in the 2000s. The singer took her own life in 2013 at her home in Arkansas by shooting herself in the head with a gun. It is rumored that Mindy had previously attempted suicide twice prior to this.
One month prior to her death, Mindy’s former boyfriend and father of one of her sons shot himself on the same porch that Mindy did.
16. Simone Battle – Age 25
Simone was an American actress, X Factor finalist, and member of the girl group, G.R.L. She took her life in the fall of ’14, hanging herself in her California home. After her death, a representative for the singer came forward and said that she had suffered from depression due to financial issues.
15. Kurt Cobain – Age 27
The infamous blonde lead singer of Nirvana took his life in the spring of ’94. The singer died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Cobain had a long, tumultuous relationship with rocker Courtney Love. The two had a child together prior to Cobain’s death, Francis Bean Cobain. Cobain was known to have had a pretty long and rough history battling drug addiction and depression. Prior to his death, the singer had checked into a detox center in LA.
14. Shakir Stewart – Age 34
This is the man behind the great Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, and many other artists signed to Def Jam Records. Stewart was found dead in his bathroom from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. People close to him said that in the weeks before his death, he had been acting strange and sporadic, but there was nothing more they could do, as Shakir took his life shortly after people began recognizing the warning signs.
13. Wendy O. Williams – Age 48
Williams was the lead singer of the punk band the Plasmatics. The band had a cult following in the ’90s and was the definition of grunge. Williams’ use of sledgehammers bashing guitars, violence, sexuality and nudity ultimately led to Williams’ nickname, “The Queen of Shock.”
Wendy fatally shot herself in the head in 1998 in the woods by her home in Connecticut. The punk rocker apparently tried to kill herself once before, lodging a knife in her chest.
Friends and family close to Williams said that she had found it difficult to live a normal life past her peak and had been disconsolate for a long time.
12. Alexander McQueen – Age 40
The world renowned British fashion designer took his life in 2010 a little over a week after he lost his mother, Joyce, to cancer. His suicide is quite well known as the designer went out in style, ingesting a cocktail of cocaine, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers and hanging himself by his favorite belt. Although apparently the designer had originally planned to shoot himself on the runway during one of his live catwalk shows. McQueen’s legacy still lives on today through his fashion and influence in the industry.
11. Lucy Gordon – Age 28
This British actress starred in Serendipity and Spiderman 3. She was found in her Paris apartment hanging. Gordon left behind multiple suicide notes detailing her last wishes. Her body was discovered by Jérôme Alméras, a cinematographer, with whom she shared the apartment.
10. Lee Thompson Young – Age 29
Lee was a former Disney star and more recently, an actor on the show Rizzoli and Isles. Lee was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound by police after he didn’t show up to the filming of an episode. After his death, it was discovered that Young had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was also suffering from a major spell of depression at the time of his death.
9. Johnny Lewis – Age 26
Lewis is best known for his role as Kip “Half-Sack” Epps on Sons of Anarchy. The actor jumped or fell to his death in 2012 from the roof of his home. Reportedly, Lewis climbed up to the roof after killing his elderly landlord and her cat. Following his death, his family released a statement about his history of dealing with an untreated head trauma and that there was potential for it to have led to a psychological disorder.
8. Chris Lightly – Age 44
Lightly was a big name in the music industry. He co-founded a marketing, management, and record label called, Violator. Chris represented some big names in the game like Mobb Deep, Ja Rule, Nas, L.L. Cool J, Missy Elliott, 50 Cent and Uncle Murda, In the past, Lighty was the manager for Sean “Diddy” Combs. Sadly, things took a turn for the worse and in 2012 he was found face down from an apparent gunshot wound. Some people still question whether Chris did in fact commit suicide, or whether it was murder.
7. Dana Plato – Age 34
She was most recognized for playing Kimberly Drummond on the popular sitcom Diff’rent Strokes, but after her time on the hit series, Dana struggled through years of poverty and drug abuse. Dana overdosed on painkillers and muscle relaxers in the spring of 1999.
The day before her death, Drummond appeared on The Howard Stern Show and spoke openly about her financial struggles and past run-ins with the law. She claims she was sober at the time.
6. Chris Benoit – Age 30
Benoit was a well-known WWE wrestler. In 2007, he gruesomely murdered his wife and seven-year-old son by strangulation and then hung himself.
It was later revealed after his death and autopsy that the wrestler was suffering severe brain damage from traumas over the years and that his brain resembled that of an 85-year-old Alzheimer’s patient. When brain injuries go unrecognized or untreated, they often lead to more debilitating damage. The wrestler also developed a severe form of dementia that caused behavioral problems. It seems his head injury is what eventually led to the sporadic murders and suicide.
5. L’Wren Scott – Age 49
L’Wren was a famous fashion designer and known for being the longtime girlfriend of the Rolling Stones lead singer, Mick Jagger. It was reported that the designer hung herself with a scarf in 2014 after enduring a long bout of depression. Close friends and family were completely shocked because the brutality of hanging herself to death just did not suit L’Wren’s warm, tranquil personality.
4. Junior Seau – Age 43
Junior Seau was one of the NFL’s greatest linebackers. He was a ten-time All-Pro and twelve-time Pro Bowl Selection. Unfortunately, the athlete shot himself in the chest at his home in California. Studies postmortem showed that the footballer suffered severe, chronic brain damage. Another tragic case of CTE going undetected and leading to suicide.
3. Aaron Swartz – Age 26
Internet “hactivist”, computer programmer, and entrepreneur Aaron Swartz committed suicide back in 2013 after being charged with wire and computer fraud and potentially facing 50 years in jail. Swartz hanged himself in his NYC apartment.
Basically, Aaron broke into the computer network at MIT and had it set to download academic journals illegally. But you may know him better as one of the brains behind Reddit.
2. Terry Kath – Age 31
Co-singer of the classic rock band Chicago, Kath died from what appeared to be an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head that went off while he was playing around with a semiautomatic 9mm pistol.
Kath had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, but those close to him still think the death was an accident. He had been messing around with a few guns at a friend’s house and didn’t realize that this gun was loaded.
1. Mary Kay Bergman – Age 38
You may not initially recognize this name, but Mary Kay Bergman was the woman genius behind the popular animated series South Park. She played the voice of Ms. Cartman and Wendy on the show. Bergman was also the voice of Timmy Turner in Nickelodeon’s Fairly Odd Parents. Prior to this, she had been the official voice of Snow White on Disney.
Bergman was married for nearly a decade and seemingly happy. It wasn’t until after her suicide from shooting herself in the head that people close to her found out she suffered from acute and chronic depression for many, many years. Even after achieving so much in her career and personal life, Mary Kay took her own life and was found later by her husband. She left two suicide notes that have not been released to the public.