It seems like each new year brings on a brand new batch of shocking celebrity deaths. While the world has become accustomed to the memorial tributes at various award shows, the photos often depict those that aren’t always familiar to the general public. Yet, recent years have shown many more familiar faces that have caused people to wonder who will be the next beloved celebrity to pass. While age is definitely a factor, oftentimes it’s the lifestyle of these celebrities that is their major downfall. Christopher “Big Black” Boykin was the most recent celebrity to die and he was still a young man at just 45-years-old. Although people had long been aware of his unhealthy size, it still came as a huge shock when it was announced that he had died of a heart attack.
The year of 2016 came with a plethora of celebrity deaths and it only made the public start to wonder about who would be the next shocking announcement. David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder, Florence Henderson, Alan Thicke, Carrie Fisher, George Michael and Debbie Reynolds were just a few of the famous stars the world lost during that fateful year. As the world still reels from those that were lost, it is inevitable that there will be more celebrity names added to the list of the fallen. From lifestyle choices to health issues to simple old age, check out our list of the 15 celebrities that aren’t looking too good and see who might be the next shocking celebrity death to make headlines.
15 Ruben Studdard
When Ruben Studdard first appeared on the American Idol stage, it was obvious that he didn’t quite look like the typical next music star. His season was a bit unique in Idol history since the runner-up was Clay Aiken, a singer that also didn’t have the look of the next big thing in music. Yet, Studdard’s buttery voice and gentle spirit won over fans and he took home the coveted title of being the “American Idol.” Yet, it was obvious that something needed to be done about his weight. Not only would it help to sell more records if he was seen as more of a heartthrob but it was extremely detrimental to his health. Studdard wound up becoming a contestant on The Biggest Loser and lost an astounding 119 pounds but that doesn’t mean he was able to keep the weight off for good. Studdard is still thought of as morbidly obese and the death of Rob & Big’s Christopher “Big Black” Boykin should be a wake-up call for Studdard.
14 Johnny Depp
There once was a time when Johnny Depp was the biggest heartthrob in the world and people just couldn’t get enough of his “bad boy” persona and eccentric film choices. Yet, it’s undeniable that something has drastically changed in the Johnny Depp the world once knew and loved. The eccentricities of the roles he’s taken on seem to have morphed with his regular self and there have been astounding reports on the lifestyle choices he’s made in his personal life. His marriage with Amber Heard ended scandalously, with Heard accusing him of physical abuse. There was also a video that surfaced that showed him belligerent and acting erratically while lashing out at Heard in their kitchen. While he’s never kept it a secret that he’s fond of wine, his behavior seems a little more alarming than just having a propensity towards liquor.
13 Betty White
Betty White has been the recipient of practically every award in Hollywood, especially when it comes to Lifetime Achievement awards. Her career has been unparalleled by any other and she is still considered one of the most successful TV actors of all time. New roles seem to constantly be made for White and the world continues to fall in love with her time and time again. In January 2017, White turned 95-years-old and had a giant celebration that brought all of Hollywood’s A-list together to show their appreciation for this legendary actress. While she is definitely far more agile and vibrant than most people in their ‘90s, that doesn’t exactly mean that she is still at the peak of her career. Even those in the fittest of health can be struck down and there is no telling how much longer the world will be able to enjoy Betty White as one of its living legends.
12 Christopher Walken
Christopher Walken has starred in a number of memorable films over the length of his career, including Annie Hall, Kings of New York and Catch Me If You Can. He’s always been a favorite to play the “tough guy” in films but has also proven that he can portray the tender side to a character. Unlike other actors that seem to disappear in their old age, Walken seems to have had an amazing amount of luck getting consistent roles. He was featured in two films that were released in 2016 and he is still thought of as a respected actor in Hollywood. However, he isn’t exactly in the prime of his life. At the age of 74-years-old, Walken’s most recent appearances have caused many to realize just how much he’s aged. He looks far frailer than he used to and he no longer has that same vibrant aura about him from his earlier years.
11 Robert Duvall
Although Robert Duvall first made his big screen debut in the early 1960s, he is probably best remembered for his role as Tom Hagen in The Godfather film series. Although all of the cast was much younger when the first Godfather film was released, Duvall still looked much older due to his hair loss. Duvall actually lost his hair at an early age so he’s looked much older in most of his films. Despite his growing age, Duvall has had quite a stellar acting career in his later years. One of his most heralded films of his career came in 2014 when he starred alongside Robert Downey Jr. in The Judge. A year later, Duvall starred in the western film, Wild Horses. However, he hasn’t been seen much since then and it has made people wonder whether or not he is still in good health. At the ripe old age of 86, Duvall is one of those Hollywood legends that some fear may not last much longer.
10 Al Pacino
There aren’t many actors that can boast having the same success that Al Pacino has achieved throughout his long career on the big screen. When he first appeared in film with his 1969 film, Me, Natalie, there was obviously something quite special about him as an actor. Yet, the world didn’t truly see how good he actually was until he appeared in the first installment of The Godfather film series in 1972. Although he went on to star in a number of mobster films, he was by no means a one-trick pony. From Scent of a Woman to Devil’s Advocate, it seemed like Al Pacino could do no wrong. However, it has been quite some time since Pacino looked like the same fresh-faced young man that played Michael Corleone. In fact, some have begun to wonder how much longer he will remain in good enough health to continue being seen as a viable leading man in Hollywood.
9 Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins starting appearing in film in the late 1960s and consistently found work as a leading man in Hollywood. Yet, he is probably best known for his portrayal in The Silence of the Lambs film series. While he was utterly convincing in that character, he proved he had an incredible acting range through other films like The Remains of the Day and Meet Joe Black. Throughout his long and successful career, Hopkins garnered a huge amount of respect as an actor. He famously made an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show where she actually gave him a telephone book to read aloud and she listened with utter admiration. It’s easy to forget that Red Dragon released in theaters 15 years ago and he will be turning 80-years-old on December 31, 2017. With his growing age, it’s hard to imagine that he was the same man that was able to evoke intense fear as Hannibal Lecter.
8 Jack Nicholson
Having just turned 80-years-old, Jack Nicholson has had a long career that stems from his first big screen appearance in the late 1950s. He quickly began solidifying himself as a leading man and churned out film after film, with many being heralded for his performance. He is probably best known for his appearances in Chinatown, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Shining but that doesn’t mean his only successes were early on in his career. Nicholson continued to evolve as an actor and it seemed like he grew with each new role. While other actors had trouble transitioning into the later stages of their lives, Nicholson excelled in films like The Departed and The Bucket List. On top of his increased age, Nicholson is known for indulging in habits that aren’t always good for his health. From enjoying a good drink or a cigar to the alleged use of Quaaludes in the 70s, it stands to reason that Nicholson has had some major wear-and-tear over the years.
7 Richard Simmons
The celebrity world has always been known to house some eccentric characters. From Jim Carrey to the dearly departed, Robin Williams, the world has always embraced the celebrities that weren’t afraid to go all out for their fans. While Richard Simmons wasn’t exactly a film star or a standup comedian, he was definitely considered a celebrity as a fitness guru. He was so passionate about changing people’s lives and even maintained the Slimmons workout for those looking to get fit with him at his studio. Yet, three years ago, Simmons didn’t show up for work and completely secluded himself from the world. There was even a podcast on the “missing” Richard Simmons, including a variety of conspiracy theories on what was going on with him. In April 2017, Simmons finally reached out from the shadows after being hospitalized for severe indigestion. His statement ended with, “I’m sure I will be feeling good and back home in a couple of days,” but fans are still worried that he may be sicker than he wants to let on.
6 Burt Reynolds
Burt Reynolds was once thought of as a major sex symbol in Hollywood and has starred in a number of memorable films. From Smokey and the Bandit to Boogie Nights, even when Reynolds began showing his age he remained one of the most handsome men in Hollywood. Yet, all of that changed once the actor made an appearance at Philadelphia’s Wizard World Comic Con in 2015. He looked frail, walked with a cane and seemed completely unrecognizable from his former self. It was rumored that he had a number of health issues due to the fact that he performed many of his own stunts during his career, which led to a severe back injury that required surgery in 2009. From the weight loss to the decreased mobile function, it seems lucky that he has been able to make it into his 80s at all.
5 Ian McKellen
There aren’t many actors that can boast having such a successful career during the later stages of their life like Ian McKellen. Most actors would only dream of being able to land a role in one iconic film, much less multiple franchises. On top of having a stellar roster of memorable roles throughout his career, McKellen also starred as Gandalf the Grey in The Lord of the Rings film series and Magneto in the X-Men franchise. Yet, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that McKellen would be able to play Sci-Fi and mystical characters since his age gives him a distinct look that’s perfect for those types of roles. However, McKellen is pushing on 80-years-old, which is the equivalent of life expectancy for those in America. Unless he truly does have the abilities of Gandalf the Grey, there are no guarantees that he will have much more time in good health.
4 Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman was one of the many celebrities that was the victim of a death hoax on the Internet. A news story began circulating that Hackman had passed away at the age of 85, even though he was 84 at the time and alive and well. The story circulated in January of 2015 but was revised to read that the actor was retired rather than “gone.” Hackman is currently 87-years-old and doesn’t seem to be too concerned about having to churn out more and more films. With his stellar career, he has already laid the foundation for his legacy on the big screen. Yet, it’s hard to deny that 87-years-old is definitely past his prime. The most recent photos of him have shown a much more frail appearance, which is a big difference from his former strong and broad-shouldered look.
3 Clint Eastwood
It’s hard to imagine that Clint Eastwood will be turning 87-years-old this year, especially since there are many that still remember him from his glory days making Westerns. From A Fistful of Dollars to Dirty Harry, no one could play a cowboy gunman the way Eastwood personified it on the big screen. As Eastwood matured in age, he continued to stun audiences with his intense character roles but he also became quite established as a filmmaker. There have been numerous actors that have thanked Eastwood for helping them to achieve awards for their own performances, including Morgan Freeman thanking him during his acceptance speech at the Academy Awards for his portrayal in Million Dollar Baby. However, the focus of the media attention has started to shift in recent years and it seems like his son, Scott Eastwood, is becoming the newest “It” person in Hollywood. It seems like Clint Eastwood’s time is coming to an end and there’s no telling how much more he has left in him.
2 Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow began his career on the big screen in the 1950s but many people know him from the roles he attained later in life. he’s starred alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio. His most recent appearances have been in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and HBO’s Game of Thrones. It’s not new for Game of Thrones to replace one of its key actors from one season to the next but Max von Sydow’s emergence as the Three-Eyed Raven did cause a bit of a stir. As a prestigious and well-respected actor, his inclusion into the series completely elevated the show. Yet, some have wondered whether or not that was a wise decision. At the age of 88-years-old, there is definitely a fear that he might die before the series concludes. This is exactly what happened to Richard Harris, the actor that portrayed Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise but was replaced in the series upon his death.
1 Sean Connery
There was a time when Sean Connery was thought of as the most debonair and handsome man on the planet. His portrayal of James Bond was the standard by which all future 007 films sought to attain. Yet, he wasn’t completely outshined by this character and went on to appear in numerous other films throughout his career. During his older years, Connery was able to reinvent himself as an actor and played in a number of iconic films like the Indiana Jones film series and Medicine Man. In 1999, he proved that he still had the chops to portray a leading man that could still get the young and beautiful women. Entrapment was one of the first times the world began fascinating over Catherine Zeta-Jones on the big screen and Connery’s incredible charisma showed that his age didn’t hinder his appeal. Although Connery was the victim of a death hoax on the Internet, he is still alive and kicking at 86-years-old. With his aged look and frail form, it’s not looking too good for this former James Bond actor.
Sources: Daily Mail, People, Hollywood Life