Celebrity is a privilege bestowed upon the few so that the many can enjoy their talents. That privilege comes with many perks from free (and expensive) gifts to global recognition. What celebrity cannot achieve is an immunity from death; like each one of us – celebrities are not immortal and sooner of later the grim reaper comes for them as it comes for each of us.
These 18 celebrities were called away from this earth much earlier than they might have been; all of them either jumped to their deaths or fell to them in accidents. Tragedy strikes celebrities as much as anyone.
#18 Owen Hart
The professional wrestler, Owen Hart, fell to his death in front of an audience during the Kansas City “Over the Edge” pay-per-view performance. His passing was the result of a stunt gone wrong; he was to be dropped into the ring from a crane but his safety release mechanism failed and he fell 78 feet onto the rope at the edge of the ring before being flung back into it.
#17 Jerry Fuchs
Gerhardt “Jerry” Fuchs was an indie musician who was a member in several bands including Maserati and Turing Machine. In 2009, Jerry was stuck in an elevator in a building in Brooklyn, NY. The emergency services arrived and pried the doors open. Jerry tried to jump out of the elevator and instead fell down the elevator shaft killing him instantly.
#16 Spalding Gray
The American actor and writer, Spalding Rockwell Gray, is best known for the autobiographical monologs that he wrote and which were performed in theaters around the nation for two decades. After a car crash in 2001 left him with horrendous health problems; Spalding took his own life in 2004 by jumping off the Staten Island Ferry and drowning.
#15 Capital Steez
The artist known as Capital Steez to the public and as Courtney Everald Dewar Jr. to his friends and family would become famous following his death by suicide. He jumped from the roof of the Cinematic Music Group’s headquarters after notifying his friends of his intention on social media.
#14 Albert Ayler
Albert Ayler was a well-known avant-garde saxophone player in the 1960s. On November 5, 1970, his body was pulled from the New York City, East River no-one knows if he was jumped or pushed. He did, however, have a history of threatening to kill himself and had previously jumped from the Staten Island Ferry.
#13 Francesca Woodman
Francesca Stern Woodman is the first woman on our list. She was a famous photographer with a unique black and white style featuring female models who were blurred or otherwise obscured in shots. Woodman committed suicide in 1981 by flinging herself from the window of her New York loft apartment.
The strikingly beautiful French model, Capucine, was best known for her acting roles in classic movies such as “The Pink Panther”. Behind the scenes, her life was no laughing matter and she suffered from terrible depression which led to her suicide by jumping from an 8th-floor window in Lausanne, Switzerland at the age of 28.
#11 Ephraim Lewis
Ephraim Lewis was a rising star at the time of his death. He was expected to become one of the big names of the 1990s; instead, he fell from a fourth-floor balcony to his death in Los Angeles. While his death was ruled to be suicide there is some controversy over this as he was with the LAPD when he died.
#10 Robert Atkins
The Atkins Diet is Robert Coleman Atkins’ legacy. He had been a cardiologist and physiologist before creating the controversial diet. He died from falling on the ice. He was walking in New City in 2003 when he slipped and banged his head. He died 9 days later in hospital from complications relating to the fall.
#9 Christine Pascal
The French writer and director, Christine Pascal, led a troubled life. She’d been in and out of psychiatric care for more than decade when, in 1996, she threw herself from a window of a psychiatric hospital in France. Her physician was given one year in jail for failing to take appropriate precautions to prevent such an act.
#8 Allyn King
Tragic deaths are nothing new in the celebrity world. Allyn S King was a Ziegfeld Follies performer who died on March 31st, 1930. She would leap from her aunt’s apartment’s balcony in New York City but only injured herself. It was assumed she would recover but a few days later she took a turn for the worse in the hospital and passed away.
#7 Johnny Lewis
The TV series “Sons of Anarchy” was where Jonathan Kendrick “Johnny” Lewis caught the eye of the American Public as “Kip/Half-Sack”. He died after murdering Catherine Davis, his landlord, and her cat at their home. He fell from the roof of her property and his death was ruled accidental rather than suicide. Johnny had a history of drug and mental health issues leading up to this.
#6 Kurt Vonnegut
One of America’s most well-known and respected science fiction authors, Kurt Vonnegut, wrote “Slaughter House Five” which is considered to be an all-time genre classic. At the age of 84, he slipped and fell on the steps outside his Manhattan home and died later from the brain injuries he incurred.
#5 Charmaine Dragun
The Australian broadcast journalist and presenter, Charmaine Margaret Dragun, worked on the Aussie network show “Ten Eyewitness News”. In 2007 at the age of just 29 she killed herself by jumping into The Gap a gully near Sydney. Witnesses say she had been at the scene many times before in the weeks preceding her death.
#4 Tony Scott
Anthony David Leighton “Tony” Scott had been a film producer and director. He’d worked on “Top Gun”, “Days of Thunder” and “True Romance” in an illustrious career. Nobody knows why he did it but he committed suicide in 2012 by leaping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles. He had no known health problems or mental issues.
#3 Paul Bhattacharjee
The British actor, Paul Bhattacharjee, was of Indian descent and worked widely on the stage, in film, and on television. He was declared bankrupt in his mid-50s and a few days later was found dead at the bottom of Splash Point Cliffs. The coroner ruled it to be a suicide.
#2 DJ Mehdi
The French hip-hop and house producer, Mehdi Faveris-Essadi, was very unlucky indeed. He’d gone to a birthday party for one of his friends and it was held on a rooftop. He and three others were standing on a skylight when it collapsed – killing Mehdi but only injuring the others who fell.
#1 Donny Hathaway
Donny Hathaway was a seriously talented man and was a blues, soul, jazz and gospel singer, pianist, songwriter, and arranger. In 1979, Hathaway arrived for a recording session in what seemed to be a confused and delusional state. He was sent home, where it appears that he jumped to his death from the 15th-floor balcony of the hotel he was staying in.
Death is never a laughing matter. The celebrities in this list were all unfortunate. While many perished in accidental circumstances – others took their own life. It is important to know that if you are feeling in a similar way that there is always help available to you. The Samaritans can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone or through their website.
We would strongly urge you to seek help from them if you are feeling in any way suicidal. They will listen to you and never judge you. You, and each and every one of us matters.