Heath Ledger (2008)
The actor’s body was discovered by a massage therapist, who had an appointment with the Perth-born star at his SoHo, Manhattan residence. Paramedics arrived at the scene and attempted CPR, but it was too late. A toxicology report found he had prescription medications in his system, which led to an accidental overdose. He was 28. Ledger, who would go on to posthumously win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in The Dark Knight, was survived by Matilda, now 16, his daughter with girlfriend Michelle Williams. “We cherish his beautiful girl and all the memories that we have,” Heath’s sister Kate told WHO in 2017. “Like anyone who has lost a family member, his loss is still enormous and we feel it every day.”
River Pheonix (1993)
Pheonix, 23, was Hollywood's hearth throb when he died of an accidental overdose out the front of the infamous club The Viper Room on Sunset Boulevard on October 31, 1993. The club was partly owned by his good friend Johnny Depp. In 2020, his brother Joaquin and his wife Rooney Mara welcomed a son, River, named after the late actor.
JFK Jr. (1999)
The former president's son, 28, was flying his wife, fashion publicist Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, 33, and her sister, Lauren, 34, to a wedding in Martha's Vineyard when his single-engine plane crashed in the Atlantic Ocean killing all three instantly. "I'd like to think John and Carolyn would have lots of kids. I know they both wanted that," their friend Carole Radziwill reflected to Town & Country magazine in 2019. "I imagine the tabloids would eventually tire of them and leave in peace...But that's the thing about young deaths - you don't only mourn what was, you also mourn what could have been."
Michael Jackson (2009)
Dogged for years by allegations of child sexual abuse and ongoing health troubles, the singer had been working on a comeback tour when he died suddenly after suffering a cardiac arrest at home. In 2011, his doctor Conrad Murray, who had been giving the pop prince, 50, potent sedatives to help him sleep, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served less than two years of a four-year sentence.
Amy Winehouse (2011)
The supremely talented singer, who was to some as well known for her struggles with addiction as her Grammy-winning music, died of alcohol poisoning at age 27. "Amy changed pop music forever," Lady Gaga tweeted. "I remember knowing there was hope and feeling not alone and feeling not alone because of her. She lived jazz, she lived the blues."
Whitney Houston (2012)
The singer was discovered face down in the bathtub at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Her death was attributed to accidental drowning, heart disease, and cocaine use. She was 48. "She has a long list of things she should be remembered for, but for the most part, for that voice," Bobby Brown once said. "That voice and that heart".
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Robin Williams (2014)
After the comedian's suicide at age 63, his wife Susan shared that it was not depression that killed her husband, but rather a disorder called Diffuse Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) - an aggressive and incurable brain disorder. "Robin is and will always be a large than-life spirit." she wrote in 2016. "He just happened to be 1 in 6 who is affected by brain disease".
Shane Warne (2022)
The cricketing great and doting dad from Melbourne died of a heart attack in Thailand on March 4, aged 52. "What makes me the saddest is I will never get to wrap my arms around you and give you the biggest hug and rest my chin on your chest," his daughter Brooke said at his star-studded memorial at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.