Sir Christopher Lee (who was knighted in 2010) died of natural causes in 2015. He lived a long and full life and died aged 94.
He is best known for his numerous portrayals of a bad, scary guy in films spanning 70 years. He played Dracula in the hit Hammer Horror series in the UK in the 1950s, Scaramanga in the James Bond Movie Goldfinger, Saruman in the Lord Of The Rings Movies and the evil Count Dooku in the Star Wars trilogy.
Standing 6″4 and with a deep baritone voice, he was perfect for these roles and carried a gravitas that few actors could match. He will be sorely missed, despite his celebrity status few people knew about his death.
Mr Spock himself from the Original Star Treck Trilogy, Leanord Nimoy died aged 83 from Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disease, reportedly due to complications from smoking 30 years prior.
Nimoy played the character of Spock for an incredible 49 years – right from the first episode in 1964 until a final film performance in 2013.
As well as playing Dr Spock, Nimoy wrote several screenplays and poems, but it is the Spock character that will live on in peoples memories.
Few know that Chris Penn, younger brother of Sean Penn died at his home in January of 2006 – at only 40 years of age. An autopsy reveled he died of non specificheart disease.
His most famous role was probably “Nice Guy Eddie”, in the classic smash hit Resevoir Dogs, directed by Quentin Tarantino. This was the role that catapulted him to worldwide attention.
His film career was therefore cut tragically short. His brother Sean later commented that Chris probably died due to being overweight.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
One of the finest actors of his generation, Phillip Seymour Hoffman died aged only 46, from heroin & other drug overdose. Sadly, he was found with a needle still sticking out from his arm. Detectives described that the syringe contained a cocktail of hard drugs including heroin, cocaine, amphetamine and other prescription medicines.
He was widely celebrated after his death yet did not receive the worldwide acclaim that his talent deserved. He was nominated for an Oscar 3 times, and multiple BAFTA and Emmy awards. He was widely celebrated in the acting community, but like many talented actors before him, it seems he could not control his demons except through the use of hard drugs which killed him way before his time.
Yet another actor who died young, Gandolfini is best known for his roles in Killing Them Softly alongside Brad Pitt, and of course in The Sopranos. He won wordlwide acclaim for his performance in the hit TV series, winning 3 Emmy awards, 3 Screen Guild Actors Awards, and one Golden Globe Award.
He died aged 51 in Rome, Italy at age 51 of a heart attack. Whilst walking in the sweltering hit of mid summer in Rome, Gandolfini later collapsed in the bathroom of his hotel suite where he was discovered at approximately 10pm by his son. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene of a heart attack – yet more evidence that being overweight can be a killer.
Heather O Rourke
Known for her perormance in the Spielberg worldwide smash hit Poltergeist, few know that Heather died at only 12 years of age in early February 1998.
Tragically, she was misdiagnosed with Chrohn’s disease and was prescribed medication. After about a year of using the medication, Heather became extremely ill and was unable to keep her food down. She was taken to hospital the following day but collapsed en route, followed by a cardiac arrest which ultimately killed her.
The cause of death was finally pronounced to be septic shock caused by intestine stenois from a bowel blockage.
Obviously best known for his portrayal of Dr David Banner in the hit CBS TV Series The Incrediblr Hulk, Bill Bixby passed away aged 59 in late November 1993 to little fanfare or acclaim.
He had suffered from Cancer for several years, which recurred and finally killed him off. He died in hospital with his wife and longtime friend Dick Martin at his side. One of the more peaceful deaths on this list, Bixby will be missed for his perfect portrayal of the afflicted Doctor who you should never, ever make angry….
The British pop singer died of alcohol poisoning in June 2011, aged only 28. At the time of death, her blood alcohol level was 416 per 1000ml – five times the legal driving limit.
Known for her incredible, distincitve voice and phenomenal musical talent, Amy Winehouse defied musical categorisation and masterfully produced and sang haunting music in numerous genres, including Jazz, Soul and Rhythm And Blues.
Like others on this list, it would seem that such towering talents are matched with a self destructive urge and her departure from this world has robbed us of a shining musical star which is difficult to replace.
Another actress who was unappreciated in her time and died way before her time, Gina Mastrogiacomo is best known for her role as the drug addict Janice Rossi, mistress of Ray Liotta in Martin Scorceses masterpiece Goodfellas.
Her career sadly never really took off – she auditioned 3 times for the role of Tony Soprano’s sister in the hit HBO TV Series The Sopranos but never won the role (apparently they were looking for a fatter actress!).
She died of a rare heart infection in 2001 to little fanfare.
Michael Clarke Duggan
The enormous actor, most well known for his portrayal of John Coffey in The Green Mile died aged 55. Despite a high level of physical fitness, Duggan was taken by a heart attack and died in hospital.
Despite appearing in many hit films and his breakthrough role as John Coffey, Duggan’s career never reached the stratospheric heights such as Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), perhaps because he was taken far too early. There was little fanfare surrounding his death, and you may perhaps be surprised to learn that he is no longer with us.
Richard Griffiths was an esteemed British actor who received numerous acting awards for film, television and stage. For non British readers, you may know him from his role as Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter series, and King George II in Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
He slipped away in hospital in his beloved England, and aside from mentions on the BBC website, there was not much fanfare. A real shame because in life he was known to be a generous, kind man with wonderful acting talent.
Another British actor who you may not know died, Richard Attenborough will probably be known best to non British readers for his role as John Hammond in Steven Spielbergs Jurassic Park.
He won numerous awards for acting and producing, including 2 Academy Awards for the 1983 movie Gandhi. He also won four BAFTA’s and Four Golden Globe awards for his acting.
He died aged 91 in a nursing home , where he spent the last few years of his life due to failing life. Once again the BBC announced his death and there was some coverage worldwide, but not as much as you would think for such a talented and famous actor / producer.
Marcia Wallace was perhaps most well known for playing Mrs. Krabappel in The Simpsons, (for which she won an Emmy) and a number of film and television roles.
She was recognisable for her height, and highly distinctive voice which made her perfect for her renowned voiceover in The Simpsons.
She died aged 70, a week before her 71st birthday. She had battled with Breast Cancer for many years until it finally took her life. Her Simpsons character was retired after she died.
Remember this guy? He’s been in a bunch of TV shows and movies that you probably remember (most famous is probably LA LAW and The West Wing).
He won a primetime Emmy Award and was a well loved face on Primetime TV.
Unfortunately he died young of a heart attack, 4 days shy of his 59th birthday.
Aside from a tribute read out by the West Wing’s leading actor, Martin Sheen his death did not receive as much publicity as one might expect…
You may not have heard of her, but Alice Playten was a legendary American singer who won the world famous Obie award for contribution to music.
She also appeared in numerous Broadway musicals, as well as numerous on screen credits and voiceover work.
She fought a 20 year battle with Pancreatic cancer and Diabetes, which finally took her life on Dec 20111, aged 63 years.
She was a famous American actress, cruelly robbed of life and died at aged 30 in 2005. She landed her first big role in Meet The Parents, and went on to a regular part in the 2002 series The Court.
She later appeared in CSI Miami : Without a trace and various other TV series.
She was misdiagnosed with bronchitis and poorly treated at hospital before being sent home. Several days later she collapsed as she was rushed to hospital again where the cause of death was deemed to be Pneumonia.
Harold Ramis will forever be remembered for his role as Egon Spengler in the hit movie Ghostbusters in the 1980s (and the follow up sequel). He also wrote and directed numerous movies – most notably the hilarious National Lampoons Vacation, starring Chevy Chase and CaddyShack, starring John Candy.
He will be sorely missed for the joy he brought to so many people for his glorious comedy movies and brilliant portrayal of the sceptical Ghostbuster.
He died aged 59 in 2014 due to complications from an autoimmune inflammatory vascullitis. Barack Obama made a statement to the press but his death received little wordlwide coverage.
Zoe Lund was a famous model, actress and screenwriter. She will best be remembered for her role in MS 45, and co writing Bad Lieutenant, starring Harvey Kietel.
Famous for her etheral, other worldly beauty, she died of a drug overdose, aged only 37.
She became addicted to this substance (and other even harder substances) when she was in her early 20s. She never hid her use of substances, but it ultimately proved her undoing, dying at a very young aged.
Her death received little worldwide attention, and she was survived by her husband who later confessed that he was heartbroken for years after she passed away.