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10 Actors Who Died Too Young

With the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman occurring relatively recently and the losses of other great contributors to the arts and entertainment industry, such as L’Wren Scott and Peaches Geldof, we ar

With the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman occurring relatively recently and the losses of other great contributors to the arts and entertainment industry, such as L’Wren Scott and Peaches Geldof, we are yet again reminded of the fragility of human life.  Though these stars often seem larger-than-life with their incredible movie roles, fashion collections, and magazine columns, they too are subjected to mental and physical illness.

Take Hoffman, for instance.  He was considered one of the top actors of his generation, demonstrated by his many film roles and awards, including an Oscar for Best Actor.  He was highly regarded in film as well as theatre, and remained humble throughout it all.  He was also once married and this resulted in three beautiful children whom he loved very much.  However, Hoffman admitted to struggling with addiction as a student at NYU and entered rehab following graduation.  His rehabilitation programme was successful and he was extremely dedicated to living a clean life, remaining sober for 23 years.  Unfortunately, during a celebratory moment in 2012, Hoffman accepted a drink and that was all it took to lead him down the dark path of addiction yet again.  Though he once again went to rehab and appeared to be doing well, Hoffman did not overcome his struggle this time.

Because Hoffman is not the only talented individual the world has lost too soon, this list has been created in order to remember some those that Hollywood lost too soon.  They brought such joy and entertainment to their fans and the ones they loved, even if their time was short.  It is also meant to serve as a reminder to seek help if you or someone you know is mentally or physically unwell, even if it seems minor.  It could save someone’s life or your own.

10 Clark Gable, 59

9 Natasha Richardson, 45

8 Marilyn Monroe, 36

7 Bruce Lee, 32

6 Brittany Murphy, 32

5 Cory Monteith, 31

4 Heath Ledger, 28

3 Jean Harlow, 26

2 James Dean, 24

1 River Phoenix, 23

River Phoenix was the eldest of the Phoenix siblings and he was the first to begin acting in commercials, though all of his siblings were signed to Paramount Pictures soon after.  Phoenix had roles in a variety of television shows and movies before he had his break in the 1986 film Stand by Me for which he received great praise.  Phoenix admitted that he had really related to his character in that film, but continued to pursue other projects that he later thought he was less suited for, including a comedy that he was disappointed with.  Fortunately, he landed a role in Running on Empty and he performed so well that he was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar in 1989 at the age of 18.  He was also active in the areas of animal rights and the environment, reaching out to his young fans in the hopes that they would take interest and join him to create a brighter future.  He was nicknamed “the vegan James Dean” because of these efforts combined with his early stardom and death.  Though it was said he was not a regular drug user, he suffered from seizures due to an overdose outside of the Viper Room while his siblings and friends, including Flea and Johnny Depp, were present.  It was a traumatic event for fans and many people in Hollywood including Joaquin Phoenix, who abandoned Hollywood for some time due to the media’s treatment of his brother’s death.

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10 Actors Who Died Too Young