Some of us know that being a star isn’t easy while the others believe it’s all diamonds and vacation getaways to the Bahamas. Maybe there are perks to being famous, but for the most part, it is a hard life. I believe one of the hardest things is that every little thing you do is watched like a hawk. Everything you do is picked apart and publicized. You can’t even go to the grocery store in peace. This may be the worst thing in general but it’s not the worst thing to ever happen to a celebrity.
Take Chester Bennington for one, read on to learn more about his death. As well as many more, including the “perfect” Wizard of Oz actress whose life was far from it. There is no way any of their lives could be covered in one entry, but touching the surface may help you realize how imperfect a celebrity’s life can truly be. I pray that you are more fortunate than them, as they are all pushed to their limits, beyond belief, working harder, longer hours than a doctor. From models to artists to actors, they all suffer from exhaustion on a regular basis. Many use drugs as an escape, like Chris Farley, who was so tired of being body-shamed and only allowed to play parts focused on the “ugly, fat, dumb guy” who was simply a comic relief. We literally killed him for accepting him solely as that guy. But believe me, it gets worse. Read these 15 celebrity tragedies to find out how much so.
15 Judy Garland - A Child Star Worked Too Hard
Judy Garland, or Francis Gumm, lived a life common in her time, but on an entirely different level. She was forced to perform as a toddler by her pushy mother. By the age of 13, she was signed to MGM, where the real trouble began. She was harassed by those in position but eventually married as a teen to an older man. She soon became pregnant and wanted to keep the child, but her husband, producer, and mother urged her to get an abortion to keep her image. She also was put on a strict diet and forced to smoke cigarettes to keep her figure. She, along with co-stars, were also forced to work 72-hour shifts (made possible by drugs) followed by drug-induced naps to keep them alive.
The same people that did this sexually harassed her at work as well as demeaned her. After ending it with her first husband, she caught two of her later husbands in bed with other men, one of them in bed with her daughter’s husband. Because of all of this, her later years were crowded with anger and drug abuse of her own.
14 Jennifer Hudson - Family Murdered
You can hear in Jennifer Hudson’s songs that she’s been through a lot. But have you ever wondered what happened to her? Well, in 2008, she had three loved ones taken from her on the same day. Her mother, brother, and seven-year-old nephew were all shot and killed by a murderer. She claims the only thing that kept her from killing herself was that she found out she was pregnant not long after. He’s been her life source ever since.
Want to hear the worst part? Jennifer’s brother-in-law was charged with the murders! He’s serving three life sentences as we speak. She forgives him, and says she doesn’t blame him. He was never taught how to love, and they weren’t strong enough to teach him themselves as a family. Wow!
13 Oprah Winfrey - A History Of Abuse And Poverty
Most people actually do know about Oprah’s history. It all started when she was ten years old and a relative started sexually abusing her. This continued until she was 14 and became pregnant due to it. Somehow, giving birth, Oprah was excited to meet her child, to love him. But…she would never get to do that as he was stillborn, due to the age of Oprah, of the year it was, and possibly due to the fact that it was an inbred child.
Her own parents were young and naïve in the segregated south. Poverty stricken, her mother eventually had to go away to work and she was left with her grandmother. However, the year her grandmother died, the abuse began. She herself was so naïve she literally did not know what pregnancy was or why she was getting bigger. Soon after, she went to work as a news anchor, and from there out it was history. She lives today believing her life of poverty, void of love made her successful.
12 Nicole Kidman - Felt Like She Was Stuck In A Cult
We all know Tom Cruise is a little wacky, but just how much, we will never know. Did you know that one in three women are victims of abuse, mostly by their partner? Nicole Kidman has an organization that focuses on this for one reason: she was a victim herself. She knows she was naïve when she married Tom, even at 23. They married before they really knew each other.
She rarely will speak bad about anyone, even her ex. But word is, mostly through his other ex-wife Katie Holmes, who was also young when they married, that she speaks of his religion as if it was a cult. And it seems he was abusive in every way possible, though both women are too classy to speak too unkindly of him. But Keith Urban, Nicole’s long-time husband, knows better than anyone the scars that had been left on her.
11 Kelsey Grammer - Death After Death After Death...
I’d say out of every celebrity, Kelsey’s life has been the most heart wrenching. You know Kelsey Grammer from Frasier and Cheers, but he’s really just a normal human with a tragic life. When he was two, his parents divorced and he was eventually sent to live with his grandparents, but his grandfather died when he was 11. Then in 1968, two years later, a man set his father’s car on fire before shooting him, killing him. Seven years later, his younger sister, Karen was raped by four men and murdered.
If this wasn’t enough, five years later, Kelsey Grammer’s half brothers died unexpectedly while scuba diving. Just when things were starting to look up, on 9/11, his good friend and producer David Angell as well as Angell’s wife didn’t make it through the day. Shortly after, his best friend was murdered by his wife.
As far as Kelsey’s wives…one of them (an exotic dancer) attempted suicide and killed her own (Kelsey’s) unborn child.
10 Roy Orbison - So Many Family Tragedies
Roy Orbison’s biggest hit may have been "Pretty Woman," but it did little to portray his life. His first wife, Claudette, died in a 1966 motorcycle accident. After her death, he had trouble writing for some time, as he was depressed and drew so much inspiration from her.
Two years later, he was getting his life back together when he heard his house burned down with his sons in it. Three of his sons were in the house, and only one of them was rescued. Just a few years later, he was far from recovered when his brother was killed in a car wreck on Thanksgiving.
Less than five years later, he had a triple coronary bypass surgery. It wasn’t until 1988 that his heart got the best of him and failed him completely. Despite all of this, he went down a legend. Elvis Presley called him, “the greatest singer in the world.”
9 Chester Bennington - Abuse, Drugs, And Depression
This one is still fresh in our minds and breaking our hearts. The death of Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington was hard to take, but what made it even more tragic was that it was suicide. This gives us a lot of insight into his life. He had six kids, a loving wife, and an amazing group of friends he worked with. So what would drive him to kill himself?
After his parents divorced when he was young, he was left under the care of an older man who sexually abused him for years. Because of this, he turned to drugs, alcohol, and other substance abuse. As he got older, his addiction only got worse. He was exposed to his family being cyberbullied and other things that came with fame. He was known for sinking to deep depths of depression, and it was truly the death of his good friend Chris Cornell that drove him off the edge.
8 Rita Hayworth - Abused By Controlling Father AND Her Controlling Husband
All of the abuse and harassment that Judy Garland faced, Rita also suffered from. But, there was one thing that happened to Rita Hayworth that was very unique and disturbing. She was put on strict diets and made up to no end. But it was her relationship with her father that was extra disgusting. Let’s just say that until she was a teen, she didn’t know that the relationship, the very close relationship, she had with her father was not normal. Her mother knew of this relationship, and often slept with her daughter to protect her.
If that wasn’t bad enough, she soon married and her much older husband was in control of her career. He lied to the media, created fake awards, and completely changed Rita’s look as well as her name, not to mention his unstoppable cheating. You can say she was abused and controlled her whole life, never able to be herself.
7 Charlize Theron - Saw Her Mother Shoot Her Abusive, Alcoholic Father
For the most part, Charlize Theron lived a normal celebrity life, but one tragic event turned her entire life into a tragedy. Check any interview, and she will say she gets her bravery from her mother. The woman who killed her father. When she was only fifteen, she wanted nothing more than for her mother to leave her abusive husband, but this was South Africa, and divorce was not okay.
One night, after Charlize returned home from school, her father came home drunk, shooting all over the place, claiming he was going to kill her and her mother. Before he could shoot Charlize, her mother shot and killed him in front of Charlize’s eyes. She said if she could go back, the only thing she would do was force her mother to divorce her father, no matter what anyone thought of it.
6 Shania Twain - Forced To Raise Her Siblings After The Death Of Their Parents
In the 90s, Shania Twain was country perfection. But not many know of her personal life. The man she always called "Dad” was indeed just a man that abused her mother and her. She says the most vivid memory was when he would plunge her mother’s head into the toilet. She was sure that night, her mother would die. Most of the arguments were about money and their five children, which only made things worse.
She remembers being hungry all the time, in poverty, her mother afraid to buy groceries and spend money. But that wasn’t the worst, because when she was 12, her parents died, leaving her to raise her siblings. They were hungry, washing their clothes in the lake and eating when they could.
As an adult, she fell in love and married. But soon found out something was wrong...her husband no longer loved her. He was having affairs. This caused her to develop dysphonia, a physical and physiological ailment that affects her singing, her voice box.
5 Rose McGowan - Grew Up In A Cult
Aside from claims of being raped by a studio boss, Rose McGowan, the Charmed star, has even more traumatizing news. Have you ever heard of the cult Children of God? Well, many celebs have been victims of the cult, such as the Phoenix brothers. But Rose reveals the most about them as she spent the first nine years of her life in the cult that “blended free love attitudes with preparing for the second coming of Jesus.”
She was not allowed any contact with her “outside family” and was not allowed to know any news about the world. She said she did believe in God but knew from an early age this group was wrong, from lighting walls of Bibles on fire to demeaning women. She said the only job a women had was to serve men. It wasn’t until the older men started targeting female children like herself that her family left the cult.
The only reason she wasn’t abused was because her father was a smart and strong man who realized he was in a bad place soon enough. Today, the cult is called The Family International.
4 Keanu Reeves - Lost A Best Friend, A Baby, And A Girlfriend
There are many tragic tales circulating the Internet regarding Keanu Reeves but many of them are not true. Saying that, many are. When he was about three, his father left him and his mother alone with his siblings. This trauma also possibly caused him to suffer from dyslexia. But regardless of being raised by a single mother in the 70s, his childhood was fairly normal.
However, he was a very close friend of River Phoenix who died at 23 from a drug overdose. This nearly broke Reeves. Six years later, his girlfriend Jennifer Syme gave birth to a stillborn child. The stress of this broke their relationship. But even if it hadn’t, it would have been over soon as about a year later, Jennifer died in a car accident.
Oh yes, before River even died, Reeves' sister was diagnosed with leukemia. But this one has shown nothing but positivity as he has a private foundation that donates to the fight for women everywhere.
3 Demi Moore - Parents Were Alcoholics
Demi Moore? We thought she was perfect. Born in Roswell, New Mexico, Demi Moore was another whose father left. This time, before she was born. However, her mother remarried an alcoholic, but her mother was also an alcoholic. This made for a very violent home life. She moved every few months until she was well into her teens, not allowing her to make friends or put down roots.
Even though her step father wasn’t a good role model, she was still traumatized when he committed suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide from the exhaust of his car when Demi was 17 years old. As soon as possible after that, she left home to pursue a career in modeling.
Her first big job was posing as a nude model when she was just a teen. This may seem a little much, but it did launch her career. But it also launched a drug addiction, which threatened her career. But after a few failed marriages, she was taken to a hospital after a nervous breakdown.
Thankfully, she seems the most sane and sober as she’s ever been these days.
2 Natalie Wood - Controlled And Overworked Her Whole Life
Natalie Wood is one of the most iconic actresses of all time. She started her career at just five years old which didn’t really allow her a childhood. To prevent her from ruining her career, her mother even wouldn’t allow her to report a sexual abuse account because it was against a powerful producer. To show how else she was pushed, if you’ll look at pictures, you’ll notice she wore a bracelet on her left wrist because she broke it when asked to perform a dangerous scene.
She was also born Natasha Nikolaevna Zacharenko and hated being forced to change her name to Wood. Her only down time was spent with love interests, including Warren Beatty, who supposedly broke her heart so bad that she attempted suicide. In the end, she drowned, which is incredibly creepy considering her mother predicted the “dark water” would take her. Growing up, her mother would not let her near water due to this premonition.
1 The Beach Boys - Overbearing, Abusive Manager-Father
In their time, The Beach Boys seemed like perfectly happy teens who loved performing! But this just wasn’t so. Their father appointed himself their manager, and pushed them to the max. As children, he would often physically abuse them, as well as emotionally. Murray Wilson seems to have been the most traumatized from the way he was.
As an adult he turned to drugs, alcohol, and developed a mental illness to escape. Murray suffered from anxiety and his father knew this, abusing it as often as he could. Aside from Murray’s personal struggles as the boys all followed strict rules as a band, they were ordered to “not fraternize with women, use profanity, or drink alcoholic beverages.” The fee was $50 for swearing and $100 for fraternizing with women. After they went on tour, he changed the fee to a flat $1,000 that would be held back from the proceeds they would make. Speaking of, after he was fired, he sold the Beach Boys’ publishing company out from under them for what would be $4.5 million in 2017.