Life’s unpredictable, you never know when you’re going to go! No one ever plans to die, but as fate would have it – it happens anyways. So, why wouldn’t we chase our dreams and live it up to the fullest? It’s only temporary, so we might as well just enjoy the ride. Easier said than done, right? It takes a lot of courage and hard work to pursue your dreams. Not many people succeed, but those who do, well, they are the ones we look up to. Take famous actors for example. They are the ones who made it. These men and women entered the Hollywood jungle as youngsters to fulfill their ambitions. Only the most persistent can do it, and leave their mark on the big screen.
Most actors are beloved and adored by many. They turned their dreams into careers, and with fame came a lot of money. Luxurious and turbulent lifestyle comes at a price, and for some of these people, the price is high. All throughout the history of film, we have seen actors leave us prematurely. Behind them, they left numbers of motion pictures, which we can enjoy and cherish their memory. Today we will talk about final movies of great actors. Some were monumental, epic performances, and others nothing but average. Either way, they serve as a last stamp these people left in the world.
13 Patrick Swayze – Powder Blue (2008)
If you haven’t heard of Swayze, you probably grew up in a jungle. Famous for his romantic heartthrob and tough guy roles, Patrick was a living legend in the movie scene. Starring in classics such as Dirty Dancing, Uncommon Valor and Roadhouse, to name a few, he earned himself a title of an ultimate sex symbol of the 1980s. He later went on to play in Ghost, Donnie Darko and finished his career with Powder Blue. In 2007, Swayze was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Two years later, after a few unsuccessful surgeries, Patrick died at the age of 57.
12 James Gandolfini – The Drop (2014)
Although he started his career on Broadway, Mr. Gandolfini became famous for his role as the Italian mafia boss Tony Soprano. The Sopranos ran from 1999 to 2007, and during that time, James received widespread critical acclaim. He grew up in an Italian-American home and developed a strong Italian identity. Because of that, he frequently visited Italy, where he eventually spent his final days. In 2013, while on a vacation in Rome, Gandolfini was found dead in his hotel room by his son Michael. He died of a heart attack at the age of 51.
11 Natalie Wood – Brainstorm (1981)
Natalie was born to a family of Russian immigrants in San Francisco. She started her career as a child when she was only five years old, and her first movie was called Happy Land. James Dean opened her doors to fame in Rebel Without a Cause, and it’s been all uphill from there. Later she starred in West Side Story and Love With The Proper Stranger. During the filming of her last film Brainstorm, Wood went on a weekend boat trip with her husband and her co-stars. Natalie reportedly drowned when she fell out of the boat, but the case remains open.
10 Marilyn Monroe – Something’s Got To Give (1962)
Probably the most iconic female celebrity of the 20th century also left us before her time. Marilyn doesn’t need any special introduction. She rose to fame as a model and actress, playing mostly “a dumb blonde”. Monroe also became wildly popular because of her, somewhat controversial sexual image, in the conservative 1950s. Her last movie Something’s Got To Give, remained unfinished due to Monroe’s health and personal issues. She was fired from the set of the film, two months before her death. In August 1962, she overdosed on barbiturates. Her legacy is unmatched to this day, by any other female actor.
9 Steve McQueen – The Hunter (1980)
Terence Steven McQueen was one of the true old greats. Nicknamed “King Of the Cool”, he rose to fame in the 1960s and instantly became one of the most popular Hollywood males. Some of his best-known works are The Sand Pebbles, The Cincinnati Kid and Papillon. In 1978, Steve developed an intensive and persistent cough. In 1979, after the filming of The Hunter, he was diagnosed with cancer. The illness soon metastasized, and McQueen died of a cardiac arrest, a few hours after his cancer removal surgery attempt. He was cremated, and his ashes were thrown into the ocean.
8 Bernie Mac – Old Dogs (2009)
Hailing from Chicago’s South Side, Bernie Mac started his career as a stand-up comedian. After his short-lived HBO show Midnight Mac, he appeared in films such as Friday, until his big screen success in Ocean’s Eleven. In 2001, Bernie starred in a sitcom named The Bernie Mac Show, which aired until 2006, and even earned him an Emmy award. In his final years, he suffered from sarcoidosis, and in 2008, he was rushed to the hospital. He died from a cardiac arrest, due to complications from pneumonia. He was buried in his hometown, and his funeral was attended by 7000 people.
7 Robin Williams – Night In The Museum: The Secret Tomb (2014)
In 2014, the world was heartbroken when stand-up comedian, actor, and all-round funny man, Robin Williams passed away. After his stand-up beginnings in L.A. and San Francisco in the 1970s, he got a role in the legendary sitcom Mork and Mindy. His career blew up and during his lifetime, Robin starred in a large number of legendary motion pictures. Dead Poet Society, Ms. Doubtfire, and Good Will Hunting, to mention a few. Towards the end of his life, Williams suffered from severe depression, which was made even worse by Parkinson’s disease. He finally committed suicide in his San Francisco home on August 11th, 2014.
6 Philip Seymour Hoffman – A Most Wanted Man (2014)
Described as one of the most ambitious American actors, Philip’s career started in 1992, when he appeared in an episode of Law & Order. Throughout the 1990’s, he went on to play many supporting roles, usually as a bully and lowlife. Some of his most notable movies certainly are The Big Lebowski, Magnolia and The Talented Mr. Ripley. After 23 years of sobriety, in 2013, Hoffman relapsed and started using drugs again. Year after that, he was found dead in his Manhattan apartment. He died at the age of 46 due to a mixed drugs overdose.
5 James Dean – Giant (1956)
Forger Zac Efron, James Dean, was the original teenage film star. He is a true icon and poster boy for the teenage rebel character. He made his first TV appearance in a commercial for Pepsi Cola, and the rest is history. Classics such as East of Eden and Rebel Without A Cause sent Dean into the stratosphere of the 1950s movie scene. While playing a “bad boy” on screen, James also had a love for racing motor vehicles. This passion eventually cost him his life, and in September 1955, he died in a car crash. His death only cemented his legendary status.
4 Brittany Murphy – Something Wicked (2014)
This Hollywood blondie became famous for her appearance in 1995 classic Clueless. She gained a lot of critical recognition with her roles in Don’t Say A Word and Eminem’s 8 Mile. Besides her work on the big screen, her talent’s extended into Broadway as well. Murphy starred in a few productions, such as Drop Dead Gorgeous and Girl Interrupted. During the early 2000s, it was rumored that she has a cocaine addiction, but the claims were dismissed. Brittany died in 2009, due to complications from anemia, pneumonia, and drug intoxication. She was 32 years old.
3 Brandon Lee – The Crow (1994)
Brandon is best known for being, well, the son of Bruce Lee. He continued his father’s footsteps as a martial artist/actor and had a similar fate by dying prematurely. Lee began his career in 1986 Kung Fu: The Movie. He went on to star in a few low budget flicks, and his last film The Crow was his biggest role to date. Unfortunately, Brandon was accidentally shot during the filming, by a gun which contained real bullets instead of blanks. Brandon was only 28. The film was eventually finished and became a cult classic.
2 Paul Walker – Furious 7 (2015)
Though he starred in many films over the course of his career, Walker is best known for his appearance in the Fast and Furious movies. Native of Glendale, California, Walker started acting like a toddler, funny enough, in a TV commercial for “Pampers”. After many supporting roles in some films, Paul got his big breakthrough in 2001, starring alongside Vin Diesel in the first part of The Fast and The Furious. Ironically, cars brought him to fame, and eventually took his life. In November 2013, Walker crashed his Porsche into a concrete lamppost and died as a result of the impact.
1 Heath Ledger – The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
Heath was one of the most widely recognized young talents of the film industry. Born in Perth, Australia, he moved to The United States to pursue his career. He had his breakthrough role in the 1999 flick 10 Things I Hate About You, and many other films soon followed. Soon after his massively acclaimed performance as Joker, in Batman: The Dark Knight, Heath went on to produce another film The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus. During the production of this movie Heath was found dead in his SoHo apartment. The cause of death was acute intoxication from the abuse of prescription drugs.