Famous People Who Died Of Drug Overdose

The dazzling and glittery show business has a darker side. Many of the beautiful, famous, and rich celebrities also have a shadow side to their glamorous public persona. Fame doesn’t come easily. It’s often not free and asks for a heavy price. The stress, strain, and tensions that often accompany fame have their own negative side-effects on the personal lives of the celebrities. That is why many famous people—singers, musicians, performance artists, and actors—fall prey to drug abuse. Drugs provide stressed out souls a temporary respite from their tumultuous lives. But these very drugs carry the danger of not just sabotaging the careers of these celebrities, but of wiping out their lives. When sex bomb Marilyn Monroe was found dead of drug overdose one day, the entire world was shocked. Similarly, the drug induced deaths of the popular performers Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger, and Anna Nicole Smith were strong warning signs of how drug abuse and addiction could ruin lives. These drug related deaths not only snuffed out the lives of celebrities who were too young to die, but also shattered their families. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous people who died of drug overdose.
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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
479
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 
Prince
(Singer-songwriter & Multi-instrumentalist)
Prince
154
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: June 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: April 21, 2016

Singer-songwriter, dancer, and musician, Prince is is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation. He was considered a guitar virtuoso and could also play several other instruments. With worldwide sales of over 150 million records, he is ranked among the best-selling music artists of all time. He was also well known for his flamboyant persona.

 3 
Judy Garland
(Best Known for Her Portrayal of 'Dorothy Gale' in the Movie 'The Wizard of Oz')
Judy Garland
89
Birthdate: June 10, 1922
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Grand Rapids, Minnesota, United States
Died: June 22, 1969
American actress and singer, Judy Garland, was one of the most iconic artists of Hollywood's Golden Era. In a career that spanned forty five years, her exceptional talent shone brightly, especially in movies like The Wizard of Oz and A Star Is Born. The personal life of the superstar though, was full of struggles including drugs, alcohols and unsuccessful marriages.
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 4 
Juice WRLD
(Rapper)
Juice WRLD
371
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 2, 1998
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: December 8, 2019
Rapper Juice Wrld is best remembered for his tracks Lucid Dreams and All Girls Are the Same. He was also part of the collective Internet Money. He died due to a drug-induced seizure at the age of 21. His posthumous album Legends Never Die topped the Billboard 200 chart.
 5 
Mac Miller
(Rapper Known for His Debut Studio Album 'Blue Slide Park')
Mac Miller
210
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 19, 1992
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: September 7, 2018

Before his death at the age of 26, Mac Miller had a major impact as a rapper and songwriter. Blue Slide Park, his studio album, became the first independently distributed maiden album since 1995 to top the US Billboard 200. His personal life was marred by depression, substance abuse, and legal issues. He died of drug overdose.

 6 
Bon Scott
(Singer & Musician)
Bon Scott
69
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 9, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Forfar, Scotland
Died: February 19, 1980
Bon Scott worked with bands such as The Spektors, Valentines, and Fraternity before joining the Australian hard rock band AC/DC, replacing lead singer Dave Evans in 1974. He was one of Classic Rock’s 100 Greatest Frontmen of All Time. Following his death, AC/DC released a best-selling album as a tribute.
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 7 
Lil Peep
(A Leading Figure of the Mid–late 2010s Emo Rap Scene)
Lil Peep
270
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.

 8 
Keith Moon
(Drummer)
Keith Moon
29
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: August 23, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wembley, England
Died: September 7, 1978

Keith Moon was an English drummer whose drug addiction and self-destructive behavior overshadowed his contribution to the rock band The Who. His drumming continues to attract appreciation from critics. Several other drummers like Dave Grohl and Neil Peart have cited Moon's drumming style as an influence. In 1982, he was inducted posthumously into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame.

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 9 
Louisa May Alcott
35
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: November 29, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Germantown, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 6, 1888
Novelist and short story writer Louisa May Alcott is best remembered as the author of the 1868 novel Little Women and its sequels, Little Men and Jo's Boys. She initially wrote using the pseudonym “A. M. Barnard.” She never married and remained a life-long feminist and abolitionist.
 10 
Anna Nicole Smith
(1993 Playmate of the Year)
Anna Nicole Smith
71
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: November 28, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harris County
Died: February 8, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith was one of those Playboy Playmates whose personal lives gained more attention than their professional achievements. She made headlines at the age of 27 when she married the 89-year old J. Howard Marshall. Despite denying media speculation that she married him for his money, she was involved in a legal battle over his property after Howard's death. She died of drug overdose at the age of 39.

 11 
Lenny Bruce
(American Stand-Up Comedian and Social Critic)
Lenny Bruce
26
Birthdate: October 13, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mineola, New York, United States
Died: August 3, 1966

Regarded as one of the best American stand-up comedians of all time, Lenny Bruce was renowned for his critical form of comedy. His conviction for obscenity played a major role in redefining freedom of speech in the US. He is also credited with inspiring several comedians of the counterculture era. His life and career have inspired several works of art.

 12 
Sid Vicious
(Musician)
Sid Vicious
41
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: May 10, 1957
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lewisham, South London
Died: February 2, 1979
Punk rock legend Sid Vicious was the lead singer and bassist of the Sex Pistols. He had a tumultuous life and was also accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death. He eventually died of a heroin overdose. His unreleased solo singles were collated and released as a posthumous album. 
 13 
Layne Staley
(Original Lead Singer of the Rock Band 'Alice in Chains')
Layne Staley
37
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: August 22, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kirkland, Washington, United States
Died: April 5, 2002

Layne Staley was an American musician best known for his tenor voice and distinct vocal style. The original lead singer of the band Alice in Chains, Layne Staley is credited with the success of the rock band in the early-1990s. His untimely demise at age 34 has inspired several songs, such as Bleeding The Orchid, and a couple of biographies.

 14 
Scott Weiland
(Lead Singer of The Band 'Stone Temple Pilots')
Scott Weiland
17
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: October 27, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Jose, California, United States
Died: December 3, 2015

Scott Weiland was an American singer and songwriter. He is credited with co-creating the popular rock band Stone Temple Pilots where he served as the lead singer. He was also part of two supergroups, namely Velvet Revolver and Art of Anarchy. Known for his chaotic and flamboyant onstage persona, Weiland is widely viewed as a versatile vocalist.

 15 
Jeff Conaway
(Actor)
Jeff Conaway
10
Birthdate: October 5, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: May 27, 2011
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 16 
Glenn Quinn
(Actor)
Glenn Quinn
5
Birthdate: May 28, 1970
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: December 3, 2002
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 17 
Brad Renfro
17
Birthdate: July 25, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Died: January 15, 2008

Brad Renfro was living in a trailer park when director Joel Schumacher spotted him and cast him in The Client. Over the years, Renfro appeared in films such as Tom and Huck and Apt Pupil. He, however, struggled with drug abuse and died of a heroin overdose at 25.

 18 
Len Bias
(Basketball player)
Len Bias
20
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Landover, Maryland, USA
Died: June 9, 1986
Height: 6'8" (203 cm)
 19 
Shyla Stylez
(Pornographic Actress)
Shyla Stylez
23
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 23, 1982
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada
Died: November 9, 2017
 20 
GG Allin
(Musician, Singer-Songwriter)
GG Allin
15
Birthdate: August 29, 1956
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lancaster
Died: June 28, 1993
Punk rock artist and drummer GG Allin is best remembered for his controversial live performances, which involved acts like self-mutilation, and his themes of violence. He was also arrested for assaulting his audience members. He vowed to commit suicide on stage, multiple times, but eventually died of a drug overdose. 
 21 
Gram Parsons
(Singer, Singer-songwriter, Songwriter, Musician, Guitarist, Pianist)
Gram Parsons
7
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: November 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Winter Haven, Florida, United States
Died: September 19, 1973
 22 
Brian Epstein
(Businessperson, Impresario, Talent agent, Talent manager)
Brian Epstein
18
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 19, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Liverpool
Died: August 27, 1967
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 23 
Chyna
(Professional Wrestler Best Known as 'The Most Dominant Female Competitor of All Time')
Chyna
171
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rochester, New York, United States
Died: April 17, 2016

Chyna was a professional wrestler, pornographic actress, bodybuilder, and glamour model. The first woman to take part in WWF's Royal Rumble match, Chyna set an important precedent as a powerful and dominant wrestler to the future female wrestlers. With victories over many popular male wrestlers, she was deemed the most dominant female wrestler of all time.

 24 
Pamela Courson
(Jim Morrison’s Partner)
Pamela Courson
15
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Weed, California, United States
Died: April 25, 1974
Pamela Courson was the girlfriend of legendary singer Jim Morrison of the iconic rock band The Doors. She was the one who found Morrison dead in the bathtub of their Paris apartment in 1971. She inherited his fortune and was dragged into court battles for 2 years.
 25 
Frankie Lymon
22
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: September 30, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: February 27, 1968
Rock and roll/R&B singer/songwriter Frankie Lymon started his career as the lead singer of the group The Teenagers, known for hits such as Why Do Fools Fall in Love. Both his and his band’s popularity declined after he went solo. He was found dead of a heroin overdose at 25.
 26 
Reid Flair
(American Professional Wrestler)
Reid Flair
11
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 26, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Died: March 29, 2013
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)
 27 
Edie Sedgwick
(American Actress, Socialite, and Model)
Edie Sedgwick
17
Birthdate: April 20, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Santa Barbara, California, United States
Died: November 16, 1971
Model/actor Edie Sedgwick was touted as the “It Girl” for her appearances in avant-garde filmmaker Andy Warhol’s short films of the 1960s. Vogue dubbed her a "Youthquaker." Some of her notable films were Poor Little Rich Girl and Beauty No. 2. She died of a drug overdose at 28.
 28 
Dorothy Dandridge
(The First African-American Film Star to be Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress,)
Dorothy Dandridge
177
Birthdate: November 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: September 8, 1965

Actress, singer, and dancer Dorothy Dandridge was one of the earliest African-American women stars to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Incredibly successful in her career, she was recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As a singer, she used to perform in night clubs. Unfortunately, she died under mysterious circumstances at 42.

 29 
Clark James Gable
(Actor)
Clark James Gable
6
Birthdate: September 20, 1988
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Malibu, California, United States
Died: February 22, 2019
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 30 
Rick Rude
(American Professional Wrestler)
Rick Rude
126
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint Peter, Minnesota, United States
Died: April 20, 1999

Rick Rude was an American wrestler who performed for several promotions, such as World Wrestling Federation (WWF/WWE), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). Although he never won the WWE Championship, Rick Rude is often regarded as one of the best WWE wrestlers of his generation. In 2017, he was inducted posthumously into the WWE Hall of Fame.

 31 
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.

 32 
Bubba Smith
(American football player)
Bubba Smith
11
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 28, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Orange, Texas, United States
Died: August 3, 2011
Height: 6'7" (201 cm)
 33 
Paula Yates
(Television presenter)
Paula Yates
31
Birthdate: April 24, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Colwyn Bay, Wales
Died: September 17, 2000
 34 
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.

 35 
Leslie Carter
(Singer)
Leslie Carter
3
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: June 6, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tampa, Florida, United States
Died: January 31, 2012
 36 
Mike Bloomfield
(singer, musician, guitarist, pianist)
Mike Bloomfield
4
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: July 28, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: February 15, 1981
 37 
Christina Onassis
(Businessperson, Socialite)
Christina Onassis
8
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: December 11, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 19, 1988

The daughter of Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, Christina Onassis had an unhappy life. She lost both her parents shortly after her brother’s accidental death. She married and divorced 4 times and had a long struggle with eating disorders. She tragically died of a heart attack at 37.

 38 
Bam Bam Bigelow
(American Professional Wrestler)
Bam Bam Bigelow
40
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey, United States
Died: January 19, 2007
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
 39 
Eric Douglas
4
Birthdate: June 21, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: July 6, 2004
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 40 
Greg Giraldo
(Stand-up comedian)
Greg Giraldo
4
Birthdate: December 10, 1965
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bronx, New York City, New York, USA
Died: September 29, 2010
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 41 
Dorothy Kilgallen
(American Journalist and Panelist on the TV Game Show ‘What's My Line?’)
Dorothy Kilgallen
4
Birthdate: July 3, 1913
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: November 8, 1965

Dorothy Kilgallen was an American television game show panelist and journalist. After starting her career as a reporter for the New York Evening Journal, Kilgallen began writing The Voice of Broadway, a newspaper column that became popular over a period of time. She also wrote articles on controversial and sensitive subjects like John F. Kennedy's assassination.

 42 
Amanda Peterson
(Actress)
Amanda Peterson
77
Birthdate: July 8, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Greeley, Colorado, USA
Died: July 3, 2015
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 43 
Daniel Webster
(Former United States Senator)
Daniel Webster
9
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 18, 1782
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Salisbury, New Hampshire, United States
Died: October 24, 1852
 44 
David A. Kennedy
(Robert F. Kennedy's son)
David A. Kennedy
9
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: June 15, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: April 25, 1984
 45 
Mike Starr
Mike Starr
14
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: April 4, 1966
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Honolulu
Died: March 8, 2011
 46 
Sherri Martel
(American Professional Wrestler)
Sherri Martel
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 8, 1958
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Died: June 15, 2007
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 47 
Skye McCole Bartusiak
(Child Actress and Child Model)
Skye McCole Bartusiak
11
Birthdate: September 28, 1992
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Died: July 19, 2014

Child actress and child model Skye McCole Bartusiak is best remembered for her role in the TV series Touched by an Angel, for which she was nominated for a Young Artist Award. During her short but successful career, she played versatile roles in TV shows and films. She died at the age of 21 due to an apparent drug overdose.

 48 
Wayne Static
(Musician)
Wayne Static
9
Birthdate: November 4, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Muskegon, Michigan, USA
Died: November 1, 2014
 49 
Pimp C
(Singer, Businessperson, Rapper, Record producer, Composer)
Pimp C
20
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: December 29, 1973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Port Arthur
Died: December 4, 2007
 50 
Adam Goldstein
Adam Goldstein
9
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: March 30, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: August 28, 2009