Famous People Who Battled Depression

Human lives are full of ups and downs, and it is but inevitable that the tough times sometimes take a major toll on one’s mental health. To the layman, celebrities seem to be having it all—success, fame, money, and adulation. But what we miss out is the darker side of fame. To the world, actor Angelina Jolie comes across as a gorgeous, wealthy, and highly successful woman, but did you know she once battled depression so bad that it gave her suicidal thoughts? Depression is a serious illness that can strike anyone and even the most popular and successful people aren’t immune. Film director and comedian Woody Allen is undoubtedly one of the funniest guys on-screen, but he has faced some huge challenges in his personal life including his bouts with depression. Creative people especially are more prone to mental illness and thus it might not be surprising to note that the legendary rock singer Jon Bon Jovi, award winning author Truman Capote, and singer song-writer Sheryl Crow also battled depression at some points in their lives. Read on for more information about the life and works of famous people who battled depression.
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 1 
Abraham Lincoln
(16th President of the United States (1861-1865))
Abraham Lincoln
334
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Larue County, Kentucky, United States
Died: April 15, 1865

A self-educated lawyer, Abraham Lincoln rose from modest background to become one of the greatest presidents of America. The 16th president of the country, who is also known as Honest Abe and the Great Emancipator, played a crucial role in establishing a truly democratic government, abolished slavery, modernised economy and led the country during the American Civil War.

 2 
Anne Hathaway
(Academy Award-Winning Actress Known for Her Films: 'Les Misérables', 'The Devil Wears Prada', 'Rachel Getting Married')
Anne Hathaway
102
Birthdate: November 12, 1982
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

One of the highest-paid actresses in the world in the 2010s, Anne Hathaway is the recipient of many awards, including an Academy Award. She began acting as a teenager in the early 2000s and often portrayed princesses in her initial films. She started taking up versatile roles as her career progressed. She campaigns for gender equality and supports LGBTQA+ rights.

 3 
J. K. Rowling
(Author of Children's Fantasy Series, 'Harry Potter')
J. K. Rowling
295
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: July 31, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Yate, England

JK Rowling’s story is that of rags-to-riches. She is the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series, which have sold more than 500 million copies and is the best-selling book series in history. She also writes crime fiction albeit under a pen name. Rowling supports many charities and has founded Lumos, an international NGO, working for children.

 4 
Vincent van Gogh
(One of the Most Famous and Influential Artists of All Time)
Vincent van Gogh
101
Birthdate: March 30, 1853
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zundert, Netherlands
Died: July 29, 1890

Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter and is said to be one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. However, he was not commercially successful in his lifetime and died by suicide at 37 after years of mental health issues and poverty. He gained recognition and respect in the 20th century.

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 5 
Halle Berry
(Only African-American Woman To Win Oscar for Best Actress)
Halle Berry
147
Birthdate: August 14, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Halle Berry is one of the most popular actresses of the current generation. During the 2000s, she was one of the highest-paid Hollywood actresses. Halle is also known for her activism for which she was honored with the 2006 Woman of The Year award by the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. She also gets featured in several Sexiest Women lists.

 6 
Brian May
(Lead Guitarist of the Rock Band 'Queen')
Brian May
42
Birthdate: July 19, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hampton, London, England

Queen guitarist and singer-songwriter Brian May is also a PhD in astrophysics. One of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time and Guitar World’s second-greatest guitarist, he received a CBE. He was a Chancellor of Liverpool at John Moores University, has worked with NASA, and fights for animal rights.

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 7 
Alanis Morisette
(Singer-Songwriter)
Alanis Morisette
54
Birthdate: June 1, 1974
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ottawa, Canada

Alanis Morisette is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter and actress. Renowned for her mezzo-soprano voice, Morisette has been named by Rolling Stone as the Queen of Alt-Rock Angst. A recipient of 13 Juno Awards and seven Grammy Awards, Morisette has released several successful albums, including Jagged Little Pill, which was named in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

 8 
Hunter S. Thompson
(Journalist, Author and Founder of the Gonzo Journalism Movement)
Hunter S. Thompson
62
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: July 18, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Died: February 20, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson was an American author and journalist. He is credited with creating his own subgenre of New Journalism called the gonzo journalism. The author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was later adapted into a film, Thompson was famous for his lifelong use of drugs and alcohol. His books have had a major impact on counterculture.

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 9 
Peter Gabriel
(Musician & Singer)
Peter Gabriel
8
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: February 13, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chobham, Surrey, England

Man of Peace recipient and six-time Grammy-winner Peter Gabriel was the lead singer of Genesis but switched to a solo career in 1977. He co-founded the first online music download platform, OD2, and the WOMAD festival, apart from contributing to human rights, with groups such as Witness and The Elders.

 10 
Thom Yorke
(Singer, Musician, Songwriter)
Thom Yorke
27
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: October 7, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wellingborough

English musician, Thom Yorke, is the main vocalist and songwriter of the rock band Radiohead. He is a multi-instrumentalist as well. Active in the music industry for over 35 years, he performs both as part of his band and as a solo artist. He is a human rights activist and also supports animal rights, environmental and anti-war causes.

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 11 
Bertrand Russell
(Philosopher)
Bertrand Russell
32
Birthdate: May 18, 1872
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Trellech, Monmouthshire, Wales
Died: February 2, 1970

Bertrand Russell was a British polymath and Nobel laureate. His work, which is spread across various fields, has had a considerable influence on philosophy, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, mathematics, linguistics, and logic. Russell is also credited with leading the revolt against idealism in Britain and is regarded as one of the founders of analytic philosophy.

 12 
Lil Peep
(A Leading Figure of the Mid–late 2010s Emo Rap Scene)
Lil Peep
267
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: November 1, 1996
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: November 15, 2017

Hailed as the leading figure of the emo rap scene of the mid-late 2010s, Lil Peep went on to inspire many youth subcultures. Peep achieved tremendous success in less than three years' time. In his personal life though, he struggled with mental health conditions. He died at the age of 21 due to an accidental overdose of drugs.

 13 
David Walliams
(Comedian)
David Walliams
75
Birthdate: August 20, 1971
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wimbledon, London, England

Best known as Matt Lucas from Rock Profile, David Williams has judged Britain's Got Talent; written bestselling children’s books, such as The World's Worst Children series; and swum across the English Channel to raise funds for the charity Sport Relief. His philanthropic efforts won him the OBE in 2017.

 14 
Charlotte Rampling
(English Actress, Model and Singer Best Known for Her Film ‘45 Years’)
Charlotte Rampling
16
Birthdate: February 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sturmer, England

Charlotte Rampling is an English model, actress, and singer. One of the major icons of the Swinging Sixties, Rampling is known for portraying controversial and interesting characters in European arthouse and sexually provocative films; she has worked in Italian, French, and English films. A fashion icon, Charlotte Rampling has graced the covers of magazines like Elle, Interview and Vogue.

 15 
Charles M. Schulz
(Cartoonist)
Charles M. Schulz
8
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: November 26, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: February 12, 2000

Charles M. Schulz was an American cartoonist. He is credited with creating the popular comic strip, Peanuts, which featured world-renowned characters like Snoopy and Charlie Brown. Considered one of the most influential cartoonists ever, Schulz's works have influenced other cartoonists like Dav Pilkey, Matt Groening, and Jim Davis. In 1996, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 16 
Gerard Way
(Singer)
Gerard Way
32
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: April 9, 1977
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Summit, New Jersey, United States

Best known as the co-founder of the rock band, My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way is a popular singer and songwriter. Also a famous comic book writer, Gerard Way co-founded DC's Young Animal imprint and wrote the Eisner Award-winning book series ,The Umbrella Academy. After struggling with prescription drug addiction and alcoholism, he has been maintaining sobriety for many years now.

 17 
Samuel Johnson
3
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 18, 1709
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lichfield, England
Died: December 13, 1784

Essayist, biographer, lexicographer, and literary critic Samuel Johnson, or Dr. Johnson, is remembered for his A Dictionary of the English Language and Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets. He was also a poet, a playwright, and a staunch Tory. His mannerisms indicated he had Tourette syndrome.

 18 
Julian Assange
(Computer programmer)
Julian Assange
68
Birthdate: July 3, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Townsville, Australia

Julian Assange made headlines all over the world in 2010 when WikiLeaks, a non-profit organization founded by him, gained international attention after publishing leaks, such as the Afghanistan war logs and Iraq war logs. After dodging arrest for several years, he was finally arrested in 2019 and is currently imprisoned in HM Prison Belmarsh.

 19 
William James
(Philosopher, Psychologist)
William James
13
Birthdate: January 11, 1842
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: August 26, 1910

William James was an American psychologist and philosopher. Widely regarded as the father of American psychology and one of the most influential American philosophers, James was the first educator in the United States to offer a course in psychology. He is also credited with co-founding a psychological school of thought called functional psychology and establishing a philosophical school called pragmatism.

 20 
Andy Gibb
(English Singer-songwriter)
Andy Gibb
35
Birthdate: March 5, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Stretford, England
Died: March 10, 1988
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 21 
Marie Osmond
(Singer, Actor, Television actor, Songwriter)
Marie Osmond
35
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: October 13, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ogden

Marie Osmond is an American singer, talk show host, author, actress, and philanthropist. A multi-talented individual, Osmond has been equally successful as a singer and actress. She is also credited with co-founding a non-profit organization called Children's Miracle Network which aims at improving the lives of children by raising money for children's hospitals across North America.

 22 
Craig Ferguson
18
Birthdate: May 17, 1962
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Springburn, Glasgow, Scotland

Craig Ferguson is a Scottish-American comedian, television host, and author. He helped popularize The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, which he hosted and received the prestigious Peabody Award for the same. A recovering alcoholic, Craig Ferguson has stayed sober since 1992 and is an inspiration to those trying to quit drinking.

 23 
Philo Farnsworth
16
Birthdate: August 19, 1906
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beaver, Utah, United States
Died: March 11, 1971
 24 
Freddie Prinze
(American Actor and Stand-up Comedian Known for His TV Sitcom ‘Chico and the Man’)
Freddie Prinze
25
Birthdate: June 22, 1954
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hell's Kitchen, New York, United States
Died: January 29, 1977

Freddie Prinze, father of Freddie Prinze Jr., was best known as Chico Rodriguez from Chico and the Man. A trained ballet dancer, Freddie had dropped out of high school to become a stand-up comedian. He shot himself to death, though a jury later ruled it an accidental and medicine-induced death.

 25 
Boris Yeltsin
(Former President of Russia)
Boris Yeltsin
29
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: February 1, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Butka
Died: April 23, 2007
Boris Yeltsin served as the first president of Russia, from 1990 to 1999. He contributed to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. His regime was marked by capitalism, monopoly, inflation, and corruption. He introduced a modified constitution that increased the presidential powers. He later abruptly announced his resignation on TV.
 26 
Elliott Smith
(American Singer-Songwriter and Multi-Instrumentalist)
Elliott Smith
35
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: August 6, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Omaha
Died: October 21, 2003
Folk singer and guitarist Elliott Smith is best remembered for his tracks Needle in the Hay and Miss Misery, the latter being part of the Oscar-nominated soundtrack of Good Will Hunting. He pioneered the technique of "multi-tracking.” He apparently stabbed himself to death, though the autopsy was inconclusive.
 27 
Charley Pride
(Country Singer and One of Three African-American Members of the 'Grand Ole Opr')
Charley Pride
9
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: March 18, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sledge, Mississippi, United States
Died: December 12, 2020
Charley Pride was an American professional baseball player, guitarist, and singer. During the 1970s, Pride became the best-selling singer for RCA Records since Elvis Presley. In his illustrious career, Pride won many awards including three American Music Awards and four Grammy Awards. In 2000, Pride was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
 28 
Lee Thompson Young
(Best Known for His Role in the TV Series ‘The Famous Jett Jackson’)
Lee Thompson Young
21
Birthdate: February 1, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Columbia, South Carolina, United States
Died: August 19, 2013

An actor remembered for his role in the television series The Famous Jett Jackson, Lee Thompson Young was a popular young star who died too soon. Interested in acting from an early age, he made his debut as a teenager and went on to have a successful career. Sadly, he suffered from depression and died by suicide, at the age of 29. 

 29 
Siegfried Sassoon
(English War Poet and Soldier Who Became One of the Leading Poets of the First World War)
Siegfried Sassoon
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 8, 1886
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Matfield, Kent, England
Died: September 1, 1967

Siegfried Sassoon was an English writer, poet, and soldier. One of the most popular poets during the First World War, Sassoon's works satirized the patriotic pretensions of those accountable for the war as well as described the horrors of the war. Siegfried Sassoon's works and ideology greatly influenced another leading poet of the First World War, Wilfred Owen.

 30 
J. B. Priestley
(Novelist and Playwright)
J. B. Priestley
8
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 13, 1894
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died: August 14, 1984
 31 
Moby
(Musician)
Moby
9
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: September 11, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 32 
Richard Lewis
(Comedian & Actor)
Richard Lewis
10
Birthdate: June 29, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, U.S

Richard Lewis is an American actor and stand-up comedian. Well-known for his self-deprecating humor, Lewis was named in Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Standups of All Time list. He has also written comic articles for popular publications like Playboy. As an actor, Richard Lewis is best known for playing Marty Gold in the popular sitcom, Anything But Love.

 33 
Devin Townsend
(Founder, Singer-Songwriter and Guitarist for the Extreme Metal Band 'Strapping Young Lad')
Devin Townsend
0
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 5, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New Westminster, Canada

Devin Townsend is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer. He is the founder of the extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad. For several years, he was its primary songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist. He also has an extensive career as a solo artist and has more than 25 albums to his name. He suffers from depression and bipolar disorder. 

 34 
Maurice Chevalier
(French Singer Best Known for His Signature Songs: "Livin' In The Sunlight", "Valentine", "Louise" and "Mimi")
Maurice Chevalier
3
Birthdate: September 12, 1888
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 1, 1972
Best remembered for the song Valentine and the musical Gigi, French musician Maurice Chevalier not only fought in World War I, but was also injured and later imprisoned. During World War II, he reluctantly agreed to perform in exchange of the release of a few French prisoners. 
 35 
Graham Greene
(Actor)
Graham Greene
5
Birthdate: June 22, 1952
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 36 
Geezer Butler
(Musician)
Geezer Butler
8
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: July 17, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 37 
Lupe Fiasco
(Rapper)
Lupe Fiasco
12
Birthdate: February 16, 1982
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 38 
Meriwether Lewis
(Explorer, Politician)
Meriwether Lewis
23
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 18, 1774
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ivy, Colony of Virginia
Died: October 11, 1809

Best known for his exploration of the Pacific Northwest and Oregon, Meriwether Lewis led the legendary Lewis and Clark Expedition. He had also been the governor of Louisiana. His mysterious death at age 35, due to gunshot wounds, sparked a huge debate on whether it was a murder or a suicide.

 39 
Peter Steele
(Singer and bassist for the goth and metal band Type O Negative)
Peter Steele
13
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: January 4, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: April 14, 2010
Height: 6'8" (203 cm)
 40 
Shirley Manson
(Actor, Singer, Guitarist, Musician, Model, Songwriter)
Shirley Manson
14
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: August 26, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 41 
Kenneth Williams
6
Birthdate: February 22, 1926
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Islington, London, England
Died: April 15, 1988

Kenneth Williams was an English actor. Although he suffered from depression throughout his life, Kenneth Williams continued playing comedy roles for which he was fondly regarded in the British entertainment industry. In 2006, Welsh actor Michael Sheen played Kenneth Williams in the television play Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa, which was inspired by his life and work.

 42 
Capucine
(Model)
Capucine
7
Birthdate: January 6, 1928
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint-Raphaël, Var, France
Died: March 17, 1990
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 43 
Daniel Johns
(Best Known as the Former Frontman, Guitarist, and Primary Songwriter of the Rock Band ‘Silverchair')
Daniel Johns
8
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: April 22, 1979
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Daniel Johns is an Australian singer, songwriter, and musician best known for his association with Silverchair where he was the former frontman and lyricist. Renowned for his guitaring skills, Daniel Johns was ranked 18th on Rolling Stone magazine's 25 Most Underrated Guitarists list in 2007.

 44 
Paul Hester
(Former Drummer and Co-founder of Crowded House)
Paul Hester
4
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: January 8, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Died: March 26, 2005
 45 
Janis Ian
(Singer, Songwriter, Musician & Author)
Janis Ian
10
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: April 7, 1951
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Farmingdale, New Jersey, United States
 46 
Denise Welch
(Actor, Autobiographer)
Denise Welch
4
Birthdate: May 22, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ebchester
 47 
Mary Chapin Carpenter
(Singer)
Mary Chapin Carpenter
0
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: February 21, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Princeton, New Jersey, United States
 48 
Joe Budden
(Rapper, Musician, Singer)
Joe Budden
5
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: August 31, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City
 49 
Frank Bruno
(British Former Professional Boxer)
Frank Bruno
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 16, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England

Former boxer Frank Bruno, known by his nickname True Brit, is best known for his 1995 WBC title win against Oliver McCall at Wembley Stadium. In December 2021, he took to social media to debunk a death hoax targeting him. He has also released chartbusting cover versions and appeared on various TV shows.

 50 
Margaret Rutherford
(Best Known for Her Role as the ‘Duchess of Brighton’ in the Film ‘The V.I.P.s’)
Margaret Rutherford
11
Birthdate: May 11, 1892
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Balham, London, United Kingdom
Died: May 22, 1972

Margaret Rutherford was an English actress best known for playing the Duchess of Brighton in the 1963 drama film, The V.I.P.s, for which she won a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award. In 1961, she was made an Officer of the OBE. In 1967, she was elevated to become a DBE.