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15 Actors Who Died Before Their Prime

In reality, it doesn't matter what the cause of death is or the age that someone has died, every death is a tragic loss, no matter how you look at it. However, there's something especially tragic abou

In reality, it doesn't matter what the cause of death is or the age that someone has died, every death is a tragic loss, no matter how you look at it. However, there's something especially tragic about a life that has been cut short, especially one in its prime. Whether it’s a person you knew, or perhaps someone you loved, or even someone you've admired from afar, it's hard not to have feelings of hopelessness and despair.

When someone dies young it can be impossible to try and comprehend how much more life that person could have experienced, how much more time we could have shared with them and quite often it takes a tragic loss to truly appreciate how great the gift of life is. All that is left to do is to try and cope, and celebrate the life they lived and not lose ourselves in the awfulness of mourning. We try not to forget, and to cherish the memories, lessons and emotions we shared, and to attempt to look past what could have been.

There are many actors that have fallen through the years, all leaving us with a gift - their work. So we can celebrate their lives on the big screen and they will continue to be enjoyed by new generations.

Here is our list of top 15 actors who died before their prime.

15 Dana Plato

Via notrecinema.com

14 Sharon Tate

Via visitwesthollywood.com

13 Jonathan Brandis

Via fanpop.com

12 Heather O'Rourke

Via rememberlittleangels.blogspot.com

11 Brad Renfro

Via hotinfb.com

10 Chris Farley

Via nypost.com

9 John Belushi

Via mournerslane.com

8 Natalie Wood

Via laurencekt.wordpress.com

7 Brandon Lee

Via tuxboard.com

6 River Phoenix

Via nbcbayarea.com

5 Cory Monteith

Via stargate.wikia.com

4 Paul Walker

Via latimes.com

3 Marilyn Monroe

Via oldfashionedgirl.pl

2 Heath Ledger

1 James Dean

Via thefashionisto.com

The legendary James Dean was a teenage icon and his fame really only came from three movies, his most popular role was as Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause and he soon after starred in the Giant and East of Eden. His premature death at the age of 24 from a car accident sealed his legendary status. In 1999, the American Film Institute named him the 18th actor on their AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars list.

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15 Actors Who Died Before Their Prime