A picture can tell a thousand stories, so they say. This is never truer, nor more tragic than when it manages to capture the moments leading up to the end of a life. The vast majority of people will never have their final moments on Earth captured for posterity on camera, but, for the ten celebrities we are about to discuss here, that is exactly the case.
The more famous you are, the more lenses are pointed at you; it's a simple fact of life. Though this is part of the package that celebrities sign up for, it can often mean that they are captured in unguarded moments that they would rather not share with the world - not least their final moments. Here, we shall look at ten instances where beloved celebs were captured on camera for the final time before their untimely demises. It goes without saying that some of the pictures are tragic and upsetting, while others perfectly encapsulate the raw horror of a life extinguished without warning. Truly, we never know when the bell tolls, no matter how large we live or how many lives we've touched.
From the moments leading up to a death to the innocent pictures captured before the subject's passing shook the world, each picture is powerful in its own right. Here are ten haunting pictures that prove that all life is transient: if there is one lesson to be learned from the collection as a whole, surely it's that we should make each day count as if it's our last.
10 Robin Williams
9 Steve Jobs
8 Heath Ledger
The death of Heath Ledger in 2008 was a River Phoenix moment for Generation Y, a ferociously talented actor cut down in his prime just as he was on the cusp of realizing the depth of his own talent. Industry insiders were already beginning to talk up his performance as The Joker in the then-unreleased The Dark Knight, when Ledger was found dead in his apartment bedroom by his cleaner. He had overdosed on a cocktail of prescription drugs aimed at relieving his chronic insomnia.
7 Princess Diana
The death of Princess Diana in a Paris underpass in the early hours of September 1, 1997, was a collective jolt to the British psyche. The nation had been celebrating a cultural revival, nicknamed Cool Britannia and the end of 18 years of Tory rule when Diana was killed in a car crash while fleeing the pursuing paparazzi. Britain mourned their lost Princess openly on the streets of the nation, shocking the monarchy and leading to one of the greatest political speeches of modern times, where her younger brother, Earl Spencer used his eulogy to directly challenge the Crown to open themselves more to the people they serve.
6 Bob Marley
5 Robert F. Kennedy
The United States was a country soaked with blood by the time Senator Robert F Kennedy gave his final speech of a Presidential Primary campaign at the Ambassador's Hotel in LA, on June 5th, 1968. Race riots were tearing the country apart after the assassination of Martin Luther King, while the murder of Bobby's older brother, President John F. Kennedy, and the escalating Vietnam war had cast long shadows over the country. Bobby had won two vital primaries in his bid to stand against Richard Nixon when he was fatally shot three times by Palestinian Christian Sirhan Sirhan.
4 Paul Walker
3 John Lennon
2 Tupac Shakur
1 Chris Benoit
The last known picture of former professional wrestler Chris Benoit, was taken on Saturday, June 25, 2007. What makes the picture especially haunting is not only that Benoit would be dead soon afterwards, but that he had already murdered his wife by the time the snap was taken. Over a three-day period between the Friday and the Sunday, Benoit strangled his wife and son and then hung himself using his weights machine to form a noose. It's likely that he killed his wife first and drugged his son with Xanex, before strangling the latter at some point on the Saturday. Benoit spent much of the Saturday leaving voicemails and calls for family and close friends, claiming he couldn't attend a WWE commitment due to the whole family being in hospital with food poisoning, before committing suicide on the Sunday.
While steroid abuse was mooted as a factor in the tragedy, Benoit's autopsy report failed to support this. His father postulated that he had suffered extensive brain damage due to concussions throughout his career and that this, along with the strain of his crumbling marriage led to his murderous rampage.
Sources: mirror.co.uk, viralnova.com, dailymail.co.uk
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