Saddest Celebrity Passings That We Still Aren’t Over

Death is a part of life. It’s an avoidable part of the human condition that affects everyone, even our most beloved heroes. 

These celebrities were taken too soon, and their untimely passing profoundly impacts their fans to this day. 

Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy attends the 2005 Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on May 17, 2005.
Photo Credit: Vinicius Tupinamba via

Brittany Murphy was gliding high, well on the way to becoming Hollywood’s “It girl” when she passed away in 2009. Her untimely death became the subject of numerous conspiracy theories, as no one believed a healthy 32-year-old would pass from pneumonia. 

Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry at the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 27, 2013.
Photo Credit: Rena Schild via

Matthew Perry’s untimely passing shocked the nation. He was only 54 years old. 

Grant Imahara

Grant Imahara, Kari Byron & Tory Belleci arrive at the "The Green Hornet" premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Jan. 10, 2011 in Hollywood, CA.
Photo Credit: CarlaVanWagoner via

News of Grant Imahara’s passing from a brain aneurysm shocked the world. The forty-year-old engineer turned television host broke myths down into science, teaching an entire generation how to think critically.  

Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman during 70th Venice Film Festival on September 04, 2013 in Venice, Italy
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The English actor lived a long life but ultimately succumbed to cancer before his 70th birthday. Rickman awed Harry Potter fans with his humanizing portrayal of the complex Severus Snape. 

Mr. Rogers

Winter Park, Florida -2022: Fred McFeely Rogers “A Beautiful Day for a Neighbor” 360-degree outdoor sculpture at Rollins College by British sculptor Paul Day. Mr Rogers with Daniel Tiger and children.
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Even a timely demise can leave a giant hole in our hearts. Mr. Rogers’s passing at 75 can’t qualify as tragic, but his loss is felt even 20 years later. 

Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger attends the I'm Not There photocall in Venice during the 64th Venice Film Festival on September 4, 2007 in Venice, Italy
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The talented actor died of an accidental overdose just as one of his greatest workers hit theaters. He was only 28. 

Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell and Soundgarden Perform at the Sound Academy on January 25, 2013 in Toronto
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Chris Cornell helped shape the alternative music scene in the 90s. His untimely death (reportedly by his own hands) in 2017 shocked the nation. 

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain at the 2014 Creative Emmy Awards - Press Room at Nokia Theater on August 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, CA
Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins via

The American chef brought exotic cultures into our living rooms, helping us appreciate the diversity of cultures and cuisines around the world. Though he didn’t let his fans see his pain, Bourdain struggled with loneliness and depression, ultimately leading to his passing. 

Kobe Bryant

AUG 2. 2015:NBA basketball player Bryant Kobe of Los Angeles Lakers smiles during a promotional event at a store in Guangzhou.
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One of the greatest basketball players of all time perished tragically in a helicopter accident. The tragedy claimed the lives of all on board. 

Robin Williams

Zelda Williams and father Robin Williams at the "Old Dogs" World Premiere, El Capitan Theatre, Hollywood, CA. 11-09-09
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Though his untimely passing was first labeled self-inflicted, later reports revealed that he suffered from degenerative brain disease and decided to leave this world on his own terms. 

John Denver

John Denver in Concert in Springfield, Massachusetts
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John Denver was only 53 when his small plane crashed off the coast of California. His celebration of America’s vast beauty will live on in all of us. 

Steve Irwin

Steve Irwin Penfolds Icon Gala Dinner Palladium Los Angeles, CA January 14, 2006
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Steve Irwin’s cheerful attitude and immense love of nature showed in everything he did. He died doing what he loved, albeit far too soon. The world needs more advocates. 

Chadwick Boseman

LOS ANGELES, CA. March 30, 2019: Chadwick Boseman at the 50th NAACP Image Awards.
Photo Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency via

Why did colon cancer have to take such a fantastic talent at such a young age? He was only 43 and at the height of his career, soaring on the success of Black Panther when he lost his final battle.

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sand running through an hourglass to represent quotes about time.
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woman smiling and journaling to represent types of journals
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Group of young adults riding in a convertable with their hands up
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Woman with her hand on her chin with a thinking look on her face.
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