Famous People Who Committed Suicide

Losing a loved one to suicide is probably one of the most emotionally devastating experiences a person can go through. And when a celebrity commits suicide, then it is not just their family but the entire world that is left shocked and betrayed. On the surface it might seem like celebrities have perfect lives, courted by fame, wealth, and the adoration of fans. However like every other human being, famous people too experience pains and disappointments albeit away from the public eye. The news of a celebrity suicide catches us unawares and shocks us to the core. When the much beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams committed suicide, his fans were left devastated. Just how could someone who made the world laugh get so disillusioned with life that he killed himself? Whitney Houston and Philip Seymour Hoffman are the other two name who immediately come to mind when we talk of suicide. Read on to know more about the famous people who committed suicide.
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 1 
Cleopatra
(Queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt (51 - 30 BC))
Cleopatra
113
Birthdate: 0069 BC
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: July 31, 0030

The last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and the last true pharaoh of Egypt, Cleopatra is described as an extremely beautiful woman who was also intelligent and educated with command over numerous languages. Her romance and military alliances with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony have inspired numerous art works.

 2 
Robin Williams
(Actor & Comedian Best Known for His Roles in 'Mork & Mindy ', 'Popeye' and 'Good Will Hunting')
Robin Williams
195
Birthdate: July 21, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: August 11, 2014

One of the finest comedians of all time, Robin Williams began his career as a stand-up comedian and soon moved to act in television and films. Though widely recognised for his comedic skills, the immensely talented Williams proved his versatility by taking up and successfully performing more serious roles in films like Good Will Hunting and The Fisher King.

 3 
Vincent van Gogh
(One of the Most Famous and Influential Artists of All Time)
Vincent van Gogh
103
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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 4 
Ernest Hemingway
(American Literary Icon Who Was Known for His Straightforward Prose & Use of Understatement)
Ernest Hemingway
87
Birthdate: July 21, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States
Died: July 2, 1961

Ernest Hemingway was an American novelist and short-story writer who had a strong impact on 20th-century fiction. He published seven novels and six short-story collections and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea are some of his classic works. He ended his own life in July 1961.

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 5 
Virginia Woolf
(One of the Most Important Modernist 20th-Century Authors)
Virginia Woolf
80
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 25, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kensington, London, England
Died: March 28, 1941

Virginia Woolf was an English writer who pioneered a narrative mode called stream of consciousness to describe the thoughts and feelings of the narrator. Regarded as one of the most prominent modernist 20th-century writers, Woolf's works have gained much attention for inspiring feminism. Her life and work have inspired several films, novels, and plays.

 6 
Sylvia Plath
(Famous for Her Books 'The Bell Jar' and 'Ariel')
Sylvia Plath
59
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 11, 1963

Sylvia Plath was an American short-story writer, novelist, and poet. Plath is credited with popularizing confessional poetry and won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Sylvia Plath achieved popularity and critical acclaim despite suffering from clinical depression for the most part of her adult life. Her story inspired the 2003 film Sylvia in which she was portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow.

 7 
Hunter S. Thompson
(Journalist, Author and Founder of the Gonzo Journalism Movement)
Hunter S. Thompson
64
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.

 8 
Hannibal
(Carthaginian General and Statesman)
Hannibal
26
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0247 BC
Birthplace: Carthage, Tunisia
Died: 0183 BC
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 9 
Margot Kidder
(Actress and Activist Known for Her Role as ‘Lois Lane’ in the ‘Superman Film Series’)
Margot Kidder
28
Birthdate: October 17, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Yellowknife, Canada
Died: May 13, 2018

Margot Kidder is best remembered for her roles as Lois Lane in the Superman movie franchise and as Kathy Lutz in The Amityville Horror. Fans also loved her in the hit Broadway play The Vagina Monologues. She was a vocal anti-war and pro-environment activist. She eventually died by suicide.

 10 
Adolf Hitler
(Nazi Dictator and Chancellor of Germany (1933-1945))
Adolf Hitler
1343
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: April 20, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Braunau am Inn, Austria
Died: April 30, 1945

One of the most powerful leaders of the 20th century, Adolf Hitler was a German dicator whose policies started the WWII that resulted in the death of millions of people. He had a visceral hatred for Jews and during his regime nearly six million Jews were killed in Holocaust.

 11 
Avicii
(Swedish DJ & Remixer Known for His Single 'Levels')
Avicii
159
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: September 8, 1989
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: April 20, 2018

Avicii was a Swedish international DJ, remixer, musician and songwriter. He attained fame with his single, Levels, in 2011. His debut studio album, True, released in 2013 received positive reviews. His second studio album, Stories, was released in 2015. He suffered from mental health issues and died by suicide at age 28. His third album, Tim, was released posthumously in 2019.

 12 
Nero
(Roman Emperor)
Nero
67
Birthdate: December 15, 0037
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Anzio, Italy
Died: June 9, 0068

Nero was the fifth Roman emperor whose rule was associated with tyranny. Five years into his reign, he had his mother Agrippina killed. The Great Fire of Rome, which occurred during his reign, is believed to have been instigated by him for political reasons. He was also responsible for eliminating many Christians from the empire.

 13 
Erwin Rommel
(General)
Erwin Rommel
103
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 15, 1891
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Heidenheim an der Brenz, Germany
Died: October 14, 1944

Known as The Desert Fox, Nazi field marshal Erwin Rommel led the Axis forces during World War II. For his plot to assassinate Hitler in 1944, he was given a choice to either commit suicide by consuming a cyanide pill or face a trial and execution. He chose the former.

 14 
Jonathan Brandis
35
Birthdate: April 13, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Danbury, Connecticut
Died: November 12, 2003
Jonathan Brandis began as a child actor/model and made his acting debut with One Life to Live. He was best known for his Saturn Award-nominated performance in The Never Ending Story II and for his role of Lucas Wolenczak in seaQuest DSV. He eventually committed suicide due to depression.
 15 
Mark Rothko
(American Painter Known or His Abstract Expressionism and Color Field Paintings)
Mark Rothko
10
Birthdate: September 25, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Daugavpils, Latvia
Died: February 25, 1970

Considered part of the New York school of painters of the 1940s, Mark Rothko was best known for his signature color field paintings, consisting of vertically set rectangular patches of color. A significant figure of the Abstract Expressionist movement, he also experimented with murals and mythological themes.

 16 
Tony Scott
(Director Known for His Successful Thriller Films: ‘Top Gun’, ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’ and ‘Days of Thunder')
Tony Scott
13
Birthdate: June 21, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tynemouth, England
Died: August 19, 2012

Tony Scott was an English actor, film director, and producer. He directed several highly successful action and thriller films including Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop II. He graduated from the Royal College of Art and began his career directing commercials. He soon shifted to films and enjoyed tremendous success. He died by suicide in 2012.  

 17 
Freddie Prinze
(American Actor and Stand-up Comedian Known for His TV Sitcom ‘Chico and the Man’)
Freddie Prinze
26
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.

 18 
Pontius Pilate
(5th Governor of the Roman Province of Judaea)
Pontius Pilate
21
Listed In: Leaders
Birthplace: Roman Empire
Pontius Pilate was a Roman governor of Judaea, who served under Emperor Tiberius. The Bible mentions him as the one who presided over Jesus’s trial and ordered his crucifixion. The Gospels describe him as someone who was reluctant to kill Jesus, and the Ethiopian Church venerates him as a saint.
 19 
Martha Gellhorn
(Novelist & Travel writer)
Martha Gellhorn
16
Birthdate: November 8, 1908
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: February 15, 1998
 20 
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
(Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman and Dramatist)
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
21
Birthdate: 0004 BC
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: 0065 AD
Roman Stoic philosopher and dramatist Seneca the Younger is remembered for his tragic plays such as Medea and Phaedra. He was exiled to Corsica by emperor Claudius but later returned as a tutor to Nero. He became Nero’s advisor later but committed suicide for being part of the Pisonian conspiracy.
 21 
Elliott Smith
(American Singer-Songwriter and Multi-Instrumentalist)
Elliott Smith
37
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.
 22 
Keith Emerson
(English Keyboardist and Former Member of the Trio Emerson, Lake & Palmer)
Keith Emerson
17
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: November 2, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Todmorden, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died: March 11, 2016

Legendary English keyboardist Keith Emerson gained international fame as a founding member of the progressive rock group trio, Emerson, Lake & Palmer. He was also known for his work with The Nice. A victim of depression in his later years, he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

 23 
Sulli
(Actress, Singer)
Sulli
47
Birthdate: March 29, 1994
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Busan, South Korea

Sulli was a South Korean model, actress, and singer who achieved international recognition as part of the girl group f(x). In Korea, Sulli was recognized as a pop culture icon, mainly thanks to her outspoken persona. Her suicide at the age of 25 left many fans mourning and evoked a strong reaction on various social media platforms.

 24 
Aaron Swartz
(Computer Programmer)
Aaron Swartz
36
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: November 8, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: January 11, 2013
Aaron Swartz was an internet hacktivist, best remembered for creating the web feed RSS, Markdown, and Creative Commons. He also worked with Reddit and founded Demand Progress, which supports internet freedom. He was later charged with computer fraud after breaking into a system at MIT and eventually died by suicide.
 25 
Keith Flint
(Singer, Dancer and Motorcycle Racer Who Was a Member of the Electronic Dance Act ‘The Prodigy’)
Keith Flint
20
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: September 17, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Redbridge, London, England
Died: March 4, 2019
Keith Flint, founding member of the electronic dance group The Prodigy, has delivered international hits such as Firestarter and Breathe. He later led the band Flint. He also owned a motorcycle racing team that became Isle of Man TT champions four times. He is known for his tattoos and piercings.
 26 
Diane Arbus
(Photographer)
Diane Arbus
16
Listed In: Photographers
Birthdate: March 14, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: July 26, 1971
 27 
Sawyer Sweeten
(Child Actor)
Sawyer Sweeten
25
Birthdate: May 12, 1995
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brownwood, Texas
Died: April 23, 2015

Sawyer Sweeten gained prominence with his performance in Everybody Loves Raymond. He took his own life from a self-inflicted gunshot a fortnight before his 20th birthday. The news of his death left his fans and co-stars shocked.

 28 
Thich Quang Duc
(Former Vietnamese monk who burned himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection on 11 June 1963)
Thich Quang Duc
22
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 1897 AD
Birthplace: Hội Khánh, Vietnam
Died: June 11, 1963
 29 
Charles Boyer
(French-American Actor)
Charles Boyer
12
Birthdate: August 28, 1899
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Figeac, France
Died: August 26, 1978

French-American actor Charles Boyer appeared in more than 80 films in a career that spanned over half a century. He pursued a theatrical career as a young man and eventually moved into films. He achieved extreme popularity with his roles in romantic movies like The Garden of Allah and Love Affair in the 1930s. He received four Academy Award nominations.

 30 
Mindy McCready
(Platinum-selling country music singer who is known for albums like 1996's Ten Thousand Angels)
Mindy McCready
11
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: November 30, 1975
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fort Myers, Florida, United States
Died: February 17, 2013
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 31 
Chelsie Kryst
(Beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss USA 2019.)
Chelsie Kryst
13
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: April 28, 1991
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jackson, Michigan, United States
Died: January 30, 2022
 32 
Kerry Von Erich
(American Professional Wrestler)
Kerry Von Erich
18
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 3, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Niagara Falls, New York, United States
Died: February 18, 1993
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)
 33 
George Eastman
(Inventor of Roll Film)
George Eastman
13
Birthdate: July 12, 1854
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Waterville
Died: March 14, 1932

George Eastman revolutionized the world of photography with his Eastman Kodak Company and the roll film, which also came to be used in movies. Initially a banker, he later devoted himself to his camera company. A dedicated philanthropist, too, he contributed financially to music, dentistry, and medicine.

 34 
Inger Stevens
(Swedish-American Actress Best Known for Her TV Series ‘The Farmer's Daughter’)
Inger Stevens
28
Birthdate: October 18, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: April 30, 1970

Inger Stevens was a Swedish-American actress whose promising career was cut short when she committed suicide at age 35. Stevens is remembered for her performance in TV series like The Farmer's Daughter, for which she received the Golden Globe for Best TV Star – Female in 1963. Her performance in the series also earned her an Emmy nomination in 1964.

 35 
Phil Ochs
(Singer)
Phil Ochs
6
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 19, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: El Paso, Texas, USA
Died: April 9, 1976
 36 
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.

 37 
Don Cornelius
(Television show host)
Don Cornelius
9
Birthdate: September 27, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died: February 1, 2012
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
 38 
Walter Benjamin
(German Jewish Philosopher, Cultural Critic and Essayist)
Walter Benjamin
10
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: July 15, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: September 26, 1940

Walter Benjamin was a German Jewish essayist, philosopher, and cultural critic. An eclectic thinker, Benjamin made significant contributions to literary criticism, aesthetic theory, and historical materialism. Although Benjamin's work did not earn much recognition during his lifetime, it continues to be revered by academics several years after his death.

 39 
David Reimer
David Reimer
4
Birthdate: August 22, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Winnipeg
Died: May 5, 2004
 40 
Melvin Purvis
(FBI agent)
Melvin Purvis
12
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 24, 1903
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Timmonsville, South Carolina, USA
Died: February 29, 1960
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 41 
Hugh O'Connor
(Actor)
Hugh O'Connor
9
Birthdate: April 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: March 28, 1995
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 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 
Stefan Zweig
(One of the Most Popular and Widely Translated Writers in the World During 1920s & 1930s)
Stefan Zweig
6
Birthdate: November 28, 1881
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 22, 1942

Stefan Zweig was an Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist, and biographer. He was one of the most widely translated and most popular writers in the world at the height of his career. His best-known work is Sternstunden der Menschheit, in which he wrote about decisive historical events. His later years were very difficult and he died by suicide in 1942.

 44 
Geli Raubal
(Austrian Woman Who Was the Half-Niece of Adolf Hitler)
Geli Raubal
20
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 4, 1908
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Linz, Austria
Died: September 18, 1931
Geli Raubal was the half-niece of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and the daughter of Hitler’s half-sister, Angela Raubal. She spent her childhood in Hitler’s home, where her mother worked as a housekeeper. She is said to have committed suicide after Hitler forbade her to pursue singing lessons in Vienna.
 45 
Brenda Benet
(Actress)
Brenda Benet
17
Birthdate: August 14, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Died: April 7, 1982

Brenda Benet was an American actress best remembered for playing important roles in soap operas, such as The Young Marrieds and Days of Our Lives. Benet became a much-sought-after TV actress in the 1960s and 1970s. However, Benet faced several personal challenges, especially after her divorce from Bill Bixby. In 1982, she took her own life due to depression.

 46 
Gilles Deleuze
(French Philosopher)
Gilles Deleuze
6
Birthdate: January 18, 1925
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 4, 1995

Gilles Deleuze was a French philosopher who wrote extensively on philosophy, film, fine art, and literature. Widely regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of all time, Deleuze's works have influenced a wide range of disciplines, such as philosophy, literary theory, and art. His work has also influenced movements like postmodernism and post-structuralism.

 47 
Del Shannon
(Singer, Singer-songwriter, Songwriter, Guitarist, Musician)
Del Shannon
4
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: December 30, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Grand Rapids
Died: February 8, 1990
 48 
Gary Webb
(Journalist)
Gary Webb
11
Birthdate: August 31, 1955
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Corona
Died: December 10, 2004
 49 
Robert E. Howard
(Pulp Fiction Writer)
Robert E. Howard
6
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 22, 1906
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Peaster
Died: June 11, 1936
 50 
Sophie Gradon
(English Model)
Sophie Gradon
12
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: October 25, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England
Died: June 20, 2018

Sophie Gradon was an English marketing manager and model. She is remembered for appearing in the dating reality series Love Island, where she dated Katie Salmon, becoming the show's first same-sex couple. Also known for her charity work, Gradon promoted the NE1 campaign, through which she raised funds for charities. Gradon took her own life at the age of 32.