When it comes to celebrities, almost everyone is in the know. Die hard fans follow every detail of their lives and are updated on the latest happenings about them. But sometimes there are celebrity happenings that don’t make it to the news. We’ve heard a lot of icons and legends who passed away and immediately made the headlines. The whole entertainment industry and the world mourned for their loss. Sadly, though, sometimes there are other celebrity deaths that don’t get the same equal attention as others do. So to help keep you up with the latest celebrity news, here are some shocking celebrities you didn’t know passed away.
18. Richard Kiel
Born: September 13, 1939 – Died: September 10, 2014
Richard Dawson Kiel was an actor, voice artist, and comedian. His most recognizable role was paying Mr. Larson in Happy Gilmore. He had been in the entertainment industry since the 70’s and made several notable and classic films. The 7’2″ actor passed away at the age of 74 due to a heart attack.
17. Richard Attenborough
Born: August 29, 1923 – Died: August 24, 2014
Richard Samuel Attenborough or Baron Attenborough was an English actor, film director, film producer, entrepreneur, and politician. He was the President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). As an actor, he is best known for his roles in Miracle on 34th Street (1994) and Jurassic Park to name a few. Richard had many health problems including heart disease, dementia, and he also suffered a stroke. He passed away a few days before his 91st birthday.
16. Lee Reherman
Born: July 4, 1966 – Died: February 29, 2016
Lee Reherman was a former athlete and actor, appearing in TV and films and also hosted television reality shows. He had roles in films like the Last Action Hero, Starship Troopers, Race to Witch Mountain, and Star Trek Into Darkness to name a few. He had more TV appearances compared to films. He was noticed when he joined the American Gladiators television show as “Hawk”. He also worked in video games, providing voices for characters in Dead Rising 3 and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. He was found dead on February 29, 2016, by his girlfriend, in his house. The cause was unknown, but he hadn’t been feeling well in recent days after undergoing hip replacement surgery.
15. Dave Mirra
Born: April 4, 1974 – Died: February 4, 2016
David Michael “Dave” Mirra was known as the Tony Hawk of BMX and he had an impressive career. He held the record for most X Games medals until being passed by Bob Burnquist in 2013 and won a medal in every X Games from when they started in 1995 up to 2009. Sadly, Dave committed suicide on February 4, 2016. On June 11, 2016, he was inducted into the BMX Hall of Fame.
14. Michael Clarke Duncan
Born: December 10, 1957 – Died: September 3, 2012
Michael Clarke Duncan was an actor and is best known for his breakout role as John Coffey in The Green Mile where he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. While trying to get some acting work in commercials, he took other security jobs while in Los Angeles before stardom. During this time, he worked as a bodyguard for celebrities like Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, and The Notorious B.I.G., while appearing in television and films. But when rapper Notorious B.I.G. was killed in 1997, he quit the personal protection business. He tragically passed in 2012 from a heart attack.
13. Anton Yelchin
Born: March 11, 1989 – Died: June 19, 2016
Anton Viktorovich Yelchin was a film and television actor, known for portraying Pavel Chekov in the Star Trek reboot series, Clumsy Smurf in The Smurfs and its sequel and several other prominent roles. He started acting in the late 1990s, appearing in several television roles and the Hollywood films Along Came a Spider and Hearts in Atlantis. Early in the morning of June 19, 2016, he was found by friends pinned between his Jeep Grand Cherokee and a brick pillar outside his home in what was described as a “freak accident”. He was pronounced dead later that day at the age of 27.
12. Natalie Cole
Born: February 6, 1950 – Died: December 31, 2015
Natalie Maria Cole was a singer-songwriter and actress. She is the daughter of Nat King Cole. Her musical career peak was during the mid-1970s as an R&B artist with the hits “This Will Be”, “Inseparable”, and “Our Love”. On December 31, 2015, Cole died at the age of 65 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, due to congestive heart failure.
11. Michael Jeter
Born: August 26, 1952 – Died: March 30, 2003
Michael Jeter was an Emmy Award-winning actor of film, stage, and television. Some of his TV appearances include Evening Shade and Mr. Noodle on Elmo’s World to name a few and a couple of his film appearances, on the other hand, were Waterworld, Air Bud, The Green Mile, Jurassic Park III, and The Polar Express. On March 30, 2003, at age 50, he was found dead in his Hollywood home. Although he had HIV, he had been in good health for many years. According to his partner, he died from an epileptic seizure.
10. Garry Shandling
Born: November 29, 1949 – Died: March 24, 2016
Garry Emmanuel Shandling was a stand-up comedian, actor, director, writer, and producer. He is best known for his work in It’s Garry Shandling’s Show and The Larry Sanders Show. He started his career writing for sitcoms. He made a successful stand-up performance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and became a frequent guest-host on the show. During his three-decade career, he was nominated for 19 Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards, along with many other awards and nominations. On March 24, 2016, he passed away at age 66. The comedian suffered from hyperparathyroidism.
9. Wes Craven
Born: August 2, 1939 – Died: August 30, 2015
Wesley Earl “Wes” Craven was a film director, writer, producer and actor, known for his trailblazing work in the genre of horror films, particularly serial killer films, where his impact on the genre was considered teeming and significant. Due to the success and impact of his works in the horror film genre, he has been called the “Master of Horror”.
Born: May 27, 1922 – Died: June 7, 2015
Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee is an English actor, singer, and author. He has a career spanning nearly 70 years and became best known for his role as Count Dracula in a sequence of Hammer Horror films. His latest films include The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, The Hobbit film trilogy, and Count Dooku in the final two films of the Star Wars prequel trilogy (2002 and 2005). He was awarded the “Spirit of Metal” award at the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards ceremony. The veteran actor died from complications of respiratory problems and heart failure on the morning of 7 June 2015, at the age of 93.
Born: September 16, 1925 – Died: May 14, 2015
Riley B. King or professionally known as B.B. King was a legendary American blues singer, electric guitarist, songwriter, and record producer. He popularized a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that influenced many later electric blues guitarists. He was drafted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, even earning the nickname “The King of the Blues”. He died at the age of 89 on May 14, 2015, from congestive heart failure and diabetic complications.
6. Angela Raiola
Born: June 30, 1960 – Died: February 18, 2016
Angela Joyce Raiola or better known by her nickname Big Ang was reality television personality who co-starred in the VH1 series Mob Wives. She was the niece of Salvatore “Sally Dogs” Lombardi, a “capo” and drug dealer in the Genovese crime family known as a “mob moll”. Big Ang dated gangsters and lived an opulent lifestyle. In 2015, there was a tumor detected on her throat and was scheduled for surgery right away. She was thought to be cancer-free but on January 2016, the tumors no longer responded to the chemotherapy and continued to grow. On February 18, 2016, she passed away at the age of 55 surrounded by her family.
Born: March 26, 1931 – Died: February 27, 2015
Leonard Simon Nimoy was an actor, film director, photographer, author, singer and songwriter. He was famous for his role as Spock of the Star Trek franchise, a character he played in TV and film from a pilot episode shot in late 1964 to his final film performance released in 2013. In February 2014, he declared publicly that he had been diagnosed with COPD, a condition he accredited to a smoking addiction he had given up about 30 years earlier. On February 27, 2015, he died of complications from COPD at the age of 83.
4. Doris Roberts
Born: November 4, 1925 – Died: April 17, 2016
Doris May Roberts was a veteran actress, author, and philanthropist. Her career spanned six decades of television. She was also an advocate of animal rights and animal rights activism. She starred in several prominent films throughout her career but she achieved continuing success for her co-starring role as Raymond Barone’s mother on the long-running CBS sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond. This was the last role she was known for. On April 17, 2016, she died in her sleep due to a stroke. She was 90-years-old.
Born: September 15, 1980 – Died: February 23, 2015
Benjamin Eric Woolf was a film and television actor featured in Dead Kansas, Insidious, Haunting Charles Manson, and Woogie. He was best-known for his recurring role as Meep on the television series American Horror Story. He was also a stunt performer for episode 1 of Dexter back in 2013. Ben passed away on February 23, 2015, at 34-years-old from a head injury after being struck by the side-view mirror of a passing car.
2. Joe Alaskey
Born: April 17, 1952 – Died: February 3, 2016
Joseph Francis “Joe” Alaskey III was a stand-up comedian, actor, voice artist, and impressionist. He was one of Mel Blanc’s successors at the Warner Bros. Animation studio. He voiced the characters of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester, Tweety, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Speedy Gonzales, and Taz, among many others. Aside from Looney Toones characters he also voiced other popular cartoon characters. At age 63, he passed away from cancer.
1. Gunnar Hansen
Born: March 4, 1947 – Died: November 7, 2015
Gunnar Milton Hansen was an Icelandic-born American actor and author best known for playing the mentally impaired cannibal and the main role of Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). His first job out of high school was as a computer operator before he began theater work during college. He was also a football player during high school and a bar bouncer for a while. In 1973, just after finishing graduate school, he heard that The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was being filmed in Austin and decided to try out. He got the part of Leatherface, the masked killer in the movie. He even went to study children with special needs to determine mannerisms for Leatherface. On November 7, 2015, at the age of 68, he succumbed to pancreatic cancer.
It’s always a sad event when a celebrity we admire passes. But that’s the reality of life, sooner or later we will all bid farewell. Maybe it’s just a little unfair that these brilliant and talented celebrities didn’t get much attention like others did when they passed away. We can’t blame them, after all Hollywood is all about status. But we can still smile when we see these deceased actors doing what they do best in the films they starred in.