Famous People Who Died At 50

The list of famous people who died at 50 includes Michael Jackson, Bernie Mac, Alfred the Great, James Cook, Catherine of Aragon. Famous personalities featured on this list, include political leaders, emperors & kings, actors and composers and from other domains of life. This list of celebrities who died at 50 includes people from United States, Italy, United Kingdom & France and many more countries.
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 1 
Michael Jackson
(One of the Most Significant Cultural Figures of the 20th Century Popularly Known as the 'King of Pop')
Michael Jackson
408
Birthdate: August 29, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States
Died: June 25, 2009

The King of Pop and an international superstar, Michael Jackson was a musical entertainer whose work – both with Jackson 5 and solo – won accolades and hearts worldwide. Equally popular were his unique dance moves that created sensation and shaped future dance styles. Amongst the most successful entertainers of all time, Jackson was later accused of child molestation.  

 2 
Steven McQueen
38
Birthdate: March 24, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beech Grove, Indiana, United States
Died: November 7, 1980

Dubbed the King of Cool, Steve McQueen was an American actor known for his antihero persona. He was one of the most bankable stars during the 1960s and 1970s. Renowned for performing many of his own stunts, McQueen remains a popular star. In the 2019 film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Steve McQueen was played by Damian Lewis.

 3 
Leif Erikson
(First European to reach North America)
Leif Erikson
19
Birthdate: 0970 AD
Birthplace: Iceland
Died: 1020 AD

Leif Erikson was a Norse explorer widely believed to have been one of the earliest Europeans to have set foot on North America, at least 500 years before Christopher Columbus. He is also credited with establishing a Norse settlement at coastal North America, as told in the sagas of Icelanders. He has been portrayed in films like The Viking (1928).

 4 
Gianni Versace
(Italian Fashion Designer, Businessman and Founder of ‘Versace’)
Gianni Versace
52
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: December 2, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Reggio Calabria, Italy
Died: July 15, 1997
Legendary Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace founded the brand Versace, reputed worldwide for its luxury products, including clothes, accessories, and fragrances. He had also designed for renowned artists and for series and movies, too. He was shot dead outside his Miami mansion, Casa Casuarina, by Andrew Cunanan. 
 5 
Nicholas II
(Emperor of Russia (1894 - 1917))
Nicholas II
44
Birthdate: May 18, 1868
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: July 17, 1918

Nicholas II reigned as the last Emperor of All Russia from 1894 until his abdication in 1917. His reign oversaw a series of reforms in Russia. These reforms included the introduction of literacy programs, civil liberties, and methods to modernize the empire's infrastructure. However, these reforms were eventually undermined by Nicholas' love for autocratic rule.

 6 
Alfred the Great
(King of the West Saxons)
Alfred the Great
25
Birthdate: 0849 AD
Birthplace: Wantage, England
Died: October 26, 0899

Alfred the Great, king of Wessex, cemented his place in history as a legendary ruler who led his kingdom to victory in wars that seemed hopeless. He is known for his brilliant strategies and defensive measures. He prevented England from falling to the Danes during his rule from circa 871 to 886. He’s also credited with promoting learning and literacy and curbing corruption.

 7 
Errol Flynn
(Best Known for His Romantic Swashbuckler Roles in the Golden Age of Hollywood)
Errol Flynn
42
Birthdate: June 20, 1909
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Battery Point, Australia
Died: October 14, 1959

Regarded as the successor to Douglas Fairbanks, Errol Flynn was an Australian-born actor who gained recognition in the Golden Age of Hollywood mainly because of his romantic swashbuckler roles. He also achieved fame for his reputation as a womanizer and party animal in personal life. His career and life inspired several films, such as My Wicked, Wicked Ways and Flynn.

 8 
James Cook
(British Naval Captain, Navigator and Explorer)
James Cook
122
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: November 7, 1728
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Marton, England
Died: February 14, 1779

British explorer, navigator, and cartographer James Cook, who had also served the merchant navy and Royal Navy, was the first to complete an expedition around New Zealand. He explored areas in the South Pacific, such as eastern Australia and Hawaii. He was killed while trying to kidnap a Hawaiian king.

 9 
Catherine of Aragon
(Queen Consort of England (1509 - 1533))
Catherine of Aragon
33
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 16, 1485
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Alcala de Henares, Spain
Died: January 7, 1536

Catherine of Aragon was one of the most popular English royal consorts of all time. A patron of Renaissance humanism, she gained widespread admiration for starting a program for the relief of the poor. A woman who was ahead of her time, Catherine commissioned The Education of a Christian Woman, a controversial book promoting women's right to education.

 10 
Archduke Franz Ferdinand
(The person whose assassination sparked the First World War)
Archduke Franz Ferdinand
20
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 18, 1863
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Graz, Austria
Died: June 28, 1914
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the eldest son of Archduke Karl Ludwig, was the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. He was also the inspector general of the Austro-Hungarian army. His assassination by Young Bosnia member Gavrilo Princip triggered Austria’s conflict with Serbia, leading to World War I.
 11 
Jim Varney
(Actor and Comedian Best Known for His Broadly Comedic Role as ‘Ernest P. Worrell’)
Jim Varney
31
Birthdate: June 15, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lexington, Kentucky, United States
Died: February 10, 2000
Jim Varney is best known for playing the iconic character Ernest Worrell in countless commercials, and later in a movie franchise, and a series named Hey, Vern, It's Ernest!, which earned him an Emmy. He also appeared in The Beverly Hillbillies and voiced Slinky Dog in the Toy Story films.
 12 
Rod Serling
(Screenwriter and Playwright Best Known for His Work on Anthology TV Series ‘The Twilight Zone’)
Rod Serling
8
Birthdate: December 25, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Syracuse, New York, United States
Died: June 28, 1975

Rod Serling was an American playwright, screenwriter, narrator, and television producer. One of the first writers to write specifically for television, Serling is often credited with legitimizing television drama. He is also credited with creating the much-acclaimed series The Twilight Zone. For his much-publicized clashes with TV executives, Serling was often referred to as the angry young man of Hollywood.

 13 
Hervé Villechaize
(Best Known for His Role in the James Bond Film 'The Man with the Golden Gun')
Hervé Villechaize
9
Birthdate: April 23, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 4, 1993

French-American actor Hervé Villechaize is best remembered for playing the evil henchman in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. Born with dwarfism, he was bullied at school for his condition. After initially working as an artist, painter and photographer, he ventured into acting. He was popular and much loved by the audience.

 14 
Joe Strummer
(Singer, Guitarist)
Joe Strummer
7
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: August 21, 1952
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ankara, Turkey
Died: December 22, 2002
Joe Strummer is remembered for his memorable performances with the punk rock band The Clash, with whom he delivered hits such as London Calling and Train in Vain. He was known for his rebellious and politically charged lyrics. He also experimented with acting and hosted on a BBC radio show.
 15 
Alan Ladd
(Actor and Film Producer)
Alan Ladd
11
Birthdate: September 3, 1913
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hot Springs, Arkansas, United States
Died: January 29, 1964
Alan Ladd soared to fame with Westerns and film noir of the 1940s-1950s. He often paired up with Veronica Lake and also appeared in radio plays. Some of his hits were The Blue Dahlia, The Carpetbaggers, and The Great Gatsby. He died of an accidental overdose of alcohol and drugs.
 16 
Veronica Lake
(American Actress Known for Her Films: ‘Sullivan's Travels’ and ‘I Married a Witch’)
Veronica Lake
6
Birthdate: November 14, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: July 7, 1973
Veronica Lake is best remembered for playing the quintessential femme fatale in various film noirs, pairing up with Alan Ladd. She popularized the peek-a-boo hairstyle but changed it to encourage simpler hairstyles during World War II. She suffered from alcoholism and eventually died due to hepatitis and kidney ailments. 
 17 
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
(Founder of the Maratha Kingdom of India)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
42
Birthdate: February 19, 1630
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Maharashtra, India
Died: April 3, 1680

Shivaji was an Indian warrior-king. He is credited with founding the Maratha Empire, which became a force to reckon with during the 18th century. He is also credited with creating his own navy. Considered one of the most important Indian kings and a hero of the Hindus, Shivaji's life and work have inspired several works of art, including films.

 18 
David Ruffin
(American Soul Singer and Musician)
David Ruffin
13
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 18, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Whynot, Mississippi, United States
Died: June 1, 1991
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)
 19 
Isadora Duncan
(American Dancer and Choreographer)
Isadora Duncan
10
Listed In: Dancers
Birthdate: May 26, 1877
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: September 14, 1927

Isadora Duncan was a dancer acclaimed in USA, Europe, and the Soviet Union. Raised by a single mother, she grew up in poverty and started teaching dance to children to earn some money. She later joined Augustin Daly's theater company. Eventually, she opened her own dance schools to teach her unique philosophy and techniques to her students. 

 20 
Antoine Lavoisier
(French Chemist Who Discovered the Role of Oxygen in Combustion)
Antoine Lavoisier
21
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 26, 1743
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 8, 1794

Antoine Lavoisier was a French chemist and nobleman. He played a crucial role during the chemical revolution of the 18th-century. Widely regarded as the father of modern chemistry, Lavoisier had a major influence on the history of biology as well as the history of chemistry. He also helped build the metric system. 

 21 
Billy Mays
(American salesperson)
Billy Mays
13
Birthdate: July 20, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: June 28, 2009
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 22 
Gustav Mahler
(One of the Most Frequently Performed and Recorded of All Composers)
Gustav Mahler
12
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: July 7, 1860
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Czeh Republic
Died: May 18, 1911

Austro-Bohemian Romantic composer and conductor Gustav Mahler symbolized the transition of 19th-century Austro-German music to early-20th-century modernism. His music was banned during the Nazi era but was rediscovered later. Famous for his Eighth Symphony, he had also been the director of the Hofoper (Vienna Court Opera).

 23 
Stepan Bandera
(Ukrainian Politician and Far-Right Leader)
Stepan Bandera
24
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 1, 1909
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Staryi Uhryniv, Ukraine
Died: October 15, 1959
 24 
Michael Jeter
(Actor)
Michael Jeter
12
Birthdate: August 26, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, USA
Died: March 30, 2003
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 25 
Viola Desmond
(Businesswoman)
Viola Desmond
10
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: July 6, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Died: February 7, 1965

Though born bi-racial, Viola Desmond became a Black icon for her business acumen. After not being allowed to train as a beautician in Halifax, she moved to Montreal. Her beauty products, salon, and training institute, all catering specifically to Black women, filled a major void in the beauty industry.

 26 
Dee Dee Ramone
(Founding Member and Bassist of the Punk Rock Band the 'Ramones')
Dee Dee Ramone
9
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: September 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fort Lee, Virginia, United States
Died: June 5, 2002

Douglas Glenn Colvin, or Dee Dee Ramone, was a co-founder, bassist, and singer of the punk rock band The Ramones. He had also written some of the band’s hits such as Wart Hog and Rockaway Beach. He had a lifelong struggle with heroin addiction and died of a drug overdose.

 27 
John Pinette
(Comedian, Actor)
John Pinette
9
Birthdate: March 23, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: April 5, 2014
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 28 
Frank Sutton
(Known for His Role as ‘Sgt. Vince Carter’ in the TV Series ‘Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C..’)
Frank Sutton
11
Birthdate: October 23, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Clarksville, Tennessee, United States
Died: June 28, 1974
Frank Sutton is best remembered for his performance as Vince Carter in the series Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. He was a regular guest on Jim Nabors Hour and also appeared in series such as The Untouchables and Love American Style. He had earlier been a Purple Heart- and Bronze Star-winning sergeant. 
 29 
Alfred Wegener
(German Climatologist and Geophysicist Known for His 'Continental Drift Theory')
Alfred Wegener
7
Birthdate: November 1, 1880
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: November 1, 1930

In the early 1900s, meteorologist Alfred Wegener did not find too many takers for his theory that all the continents of the world had initially been a single mass named Pangaea and that continental drift had caused them to split apart. Wegener died on his fourth expedition in Greenland.

 30 
Bartolomeu Dias
(Portuguese explorer)
Bartolomeu Dias
21
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 1450 AD
Birthplace: Algarve
Died: May 29, 1500

Bartolomeu Dias was a nobleman of the Portuguese royal household in the 15th century. Famous as an explorer, he sailed around the southernmost tip of Africa and set up a route from Europe to Asia. He became the first European to anchor in Cape Good Hope, South Africa, during the Age of Discovery. He perished in 1500. 

 31 
Khalid ibn al-Walid
(Arab Muslim General Who Was a Part of the Islamic Expansion under Prophet Muhammad)
Khalid ibn al-Walid
4
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0592 AD
Birthplace: Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Died: 0642 AD

Arab Muslim army general Khalid ibn al-Walid had a prominent role in the the Ridda Wars against Arab rebels and in the campaigns in Sasanian Iraq and Byzantine Syria. He was a major figure in the Islamic expansion under the Prophet Muhammad and his successors, Abu Bakr and Umar.

 32 
Margaret Sullavan
4
Birthdate: May 16, 1909
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Died: January 1, 1960
 33 
The French Angel
(French Professional Wrestler)
The French Angel
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 23, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ural Mountains, Russia
Died: September 4, 1954

Maurice Tillet was a Russian professional wrestler. A two-time AWA World Heavyweight Champion, Tillet was a very successful and popular wrestler at that time. He even appeared as The Swedish Angel in the 1949 American fantasy film Mighty Joe Young. Maurice Tillet was posthumously inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2012.

 34 
Max Baer
(American Boxer: Features on 'The Ring' Magazine's List of 100 Greatest Punchers of All Time)
Max Baer
14
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 11, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Died: November 21, 1959
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 35 
Glenn Gould
(Canadian Classical Pianist)
Glenn Gould
4
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: September 25, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died: October 4, 1982

Glenn Gould was a Canadian classical pianist, counted among the most celebrated pianists of the 20th century. He was also an interpreter of the keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach. He was known for his remarkable technical proficiency and unorthodox musical interpretations. He was a writer and composer as well. The Glenn Gould Foundation was established in his honor.   

 36 
David Graf
(Best Known for His Role as ‘Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry’ in the ‘Police Academy’ Film Series)
David Graf
5
Birthdate: April 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zanesville, Ohio, United States
Died: April 7, 2001
David Graf is best known as Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry from the Police Academy film franchise. He has appeared in series such as Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and The West Wing, too. He has also been part of the Screen Actors Guild national board.
 37 
Leslie Howard
(English Actor, Director, Producer and One of the Biggest Box-Office Draws and Movie Idols of the 1930s)
Leslie Howard
2
Birthdate: April 3, 1893
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Forest Hill, London, United Kingdom
Died: June 1, 1943

Leslie Howard was an English actor, producer, and director. One of the biggest box-office draws during the 1930s, Howard is best remembered for portraying the quintessential Englishman in films like Berkeley Square and Pygmalion. Leslie Howard is also remembered for his performance in the 1939 epic historical romance film Gone with the Wind.

 38 
Ahmad Shah Durrani
(1st Emir of the Durrani Empire from 1747 to 1772)
Ahmad Shah Durrani
19
Birthdate: 1722 AD
Birthplace: Herat, Afghanistan
Died: June 4, 1772
Ahmad Shah Durrani reigned as the first Emir of the Durrani Empire from 1747 to 1772. Credited with founding the Durrani Empire, Ahmad Shah is also considered the founder of modern Afghanistan. The Durrani Empire thrived under Ahmad Shah's reign and he was succeeded by his son Timur Shah Durrani.
 39 
Sweyn Forkbeard
(King of Denmark)
Sweyn Forkbeard
2
Birthdate: April 17, 0963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Denmark
Died: February 10, 1014
 40 
Stieg Larsson
(Swedish Writer and Activist Best Known for His Millennium Trilogy of Crime Novels)
Stieg Larsson
7
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 15, 1954
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Skelleftehamn, Sweden
Died: November 9, 2004

Stieg Larsson was a Swedish writer and journalist. He is best remembered for his Millennium trilogy of novels, which were adapted as three films in Sweden. After his sudden death, due to a heart attack, Stieg Larsson was posthumously honored with several awards, such as the Glass Key award, Galaxy British Book Award, and Anthony Award.

 41 
Möngke Khan
(4th Khagan-Emperor of the Mongol Empire from 1251 to 1259)
Möngke Khan
4
Birthdate: January 11, 1209
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gobi Desert
Died: August 11, 1259

Möngke Khan reigned as the fourth khagan (emperor) of the Mongol Empire. He made several important reforms to improve the Mongol Empire's administration. Under his reign, the empire conquered Syria and Iraq and had conflicts with the Delhi Sultanate of India.

 42 
Cyrinda Foxe
(Actress, Model)
Cyrinda Foxe
3
Birthdate: February 22, 1952
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States
Died: September 7, 2002
 43 
Cozy Powell
(Drummer)
Cozy Powell
5
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: December 29, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cirencester
Died: April 5, 1998
 44 
Basho
(The Most Famous Poet of the Edo Period in Japan)
Basho
3
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 1644 AD
Birthplace: Iga Province
Died: November 28, 1694

Basho was a Japanese poet of the Edo period. Regarded as the greatest master of haiku, Basho's poetry is read all over the world; many of his works have been translated into English. Such is his popularity that in 1979 a crater on planet Mercury was named after him by the International Astronomical Union.

 45 
Monika Dannemann
(German Figure Skater and Painter)
Monika Dannemann
11
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 24, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Düsseldorf, Germany
Died: April 5, 1996

Monika Dannemann was a German painter and figure skater whose professional achievements were overshadowed by her relationship with legendary guitar player Jimi Hendrix; she is often referred to as the last girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix. A year before her death, Monika Dannemann published a book titled The Inner World of Jimi Hendrix.   

 46 
Sergei Eisenstein
(Russian Film Director Best Known for His Film 'Battleship Potemkin')
Sergei Eisenstein
6
Birthdate: January 22, 1898
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Riga, Latvia
Died: February 11, 1948
Known for his use of the montage as a leading element in his films, Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein of Battleship Potemkin and Ivan the Terrible fame was also fond of close-up shots. He often used an ensemble of amateur actors and also included haiku-inspired elements in his work.
 47 
Edith Stein
(Philosopher, Christian Nun and One of the Six 'Patron Saints of Europe')
Edith Stein
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 12, 1891
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: August 9, 1942

Edith Stein was a German Jewish philosopher who studied at the University of Freiburg and completed her dissertation on empathy. Always interested in Catholicism, she read the autobiography of the mystic Teresa of Ávila and converted to Christianity, and became a Discalced Carmelite nun. She was killed in the Auschwitz concentration camp and is canonized as a martyr.

 48 
Jelly Roll Morton
(Pianist, Bandleader, Composer, Conductor, Jazz musician)
Jelly Roll Morton
2
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: October 20, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gulfport
Died: July 10, 1941
 49 
Barbara Daly Baekeland
5
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: 1922 AD
Birthplace: Boston
Died: November 17, 1972

Socialite Barbara Daly Baekeland, former wife of Bakelite heir Brooks Baekeland, was killed by her son, Antony. She was apparently stabbed with a kitchen knife. Antony was found at the crime scene and confessed to the murder. She had reportedly tried treating Antony’s queer orientation and had even raped him.

 50 
Naim Suleymanoglu
(Bulgarian World Champion Weightlifter and 3-Time Olympic Gold Medalist)
Naim Suleymanoglu
8
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 23, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ptichar, Bulgaria
Died: November 18, 2017

Nicknamed The Pocket Hercules for his 4’10” frame, Bulgarian weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu was one of the world’s greatest in the sport. While he initially won 2 World Championships for Bulgaria, he later won 3 Olympic gold medals and 5 World Championships for Turkey. He has also joined the Nationalist Movement Party.