Tragic: 40 Stars Who Committed Suicide
From rock and roll icons like Kurt Cobain to Hollywood heroes like Robin Williams; athletes, artists, and more too often succumb to the depths of depression and, sadly, can't see an answer beyond suicide.
These 40 stars surrendered to the unthinkable, but they'll forever burn brightly in our hearts.
Robin Williams - age 63
The suicide of beloved actor Robin Williams shocked the world. He won an Oscar for his role in Good Will Hunting, not to mention two Emmys, six Golden Globes, and five Grammys over his career. He ended his life by hanging himself at his home in Paradise Cay, California, after a long history of depression.
Mindy McCready - age 37
The country singer killed herself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2013, having twice attempted suicide in the past. She fired the shot on her front porch, the same place where her former boyfriend and youngest son's father fatally shot himself a month earlier. McCready's children were already in foster care at the time of her death.
Kurt Cobain - age 27
The much-loved Nirvana frontman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He wrote in a suicide note, "Frances and Courtney, I'll be at your altar. Please keep going Courtney, for Frances for her life will be so much happier without me. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU."
Tony Scott - age 68
The director of classics films like Top Gun and True Romance, Tony Scott died from multiple blunt force injuries after jumping off a bridge into the Los Angeles Harbor. He left notes for his friends and family, but they didn't reveal why he decided to kill himself. His brother, director Ridley Scott, speculated that Tony may have become beaten down by his long battle with cancer.
Jovan Belcher - age 25
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his longtime girlfriend dead and then drove to team headquarters where he shot and killed himself in front of his coach and general manager. The killings orphaned Belcher's baby daughter, Zoey. Right before Belcher shot himself, he said, "I wasn't able to get enough help." An autopsy found that he was suffering from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), caused by repeated head traumas playing American football. CTE causes memory loss, aggression, confusion and depression.
Lucy Gordon - age 28
The British actress and star of Spiderman 3 and Serendipity was found dead in her Paris apartment. She hanged herself and left behind two suicide notes.
Jonathan Brandis - age 27
The star of Neverending Story II, Jonathan Brandis hanged himself and died from his injuries in the hospital the next day.
Alexander McQueen - age 40
World-famous fashion designer Alexander McQueen lost his will to live after his mother died. One week later, he killed himself by ingesting a cocktail of prescription meds and cocaine and then hanging himself.
Don Cornelius - age 75
Creator and host of Soul Train, Don Cornelius committed suicide with a self-inflicted shot to the head. He had despaired over his declining health and suffered multiple seizures caused by an aneurysm 15 years previously.
Lee Thompson Young - age 29
Former Disney star Lee Thompson Young died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and did not leave a note.
Gia Allemand - age 29
Bachelor contestant and Maxim model Gia Allemand died after hanging herself. At the time of her death she was dating NBA player Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Michael Hutchence - age 41
Michael Hutchence, frontman of the rock band INXS, was found dead in his hotel room. The coroner ruled his death a suicide while depressed and under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Junior Seau - age 43
One of the NFL's greatest linebackers, Junior Seau, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.
L'Wren Scott - age 49
The fashion designer and girlfriend of Mick Jagger hanged herself with a scarf in 2014.
Jon-Erik Hexum - age 26
Jon-Erik Hexum accidentally killed himself with a blank-loaded pistol on the set of TV spy show Cover Up. He shot himself in the head, and the concussion forced a chunk of his skull into his brain; he died six days later.
Dana Plato - age 34
Child star of the television show Diff'rent Strokes, Dana Plato fell into drug addiction and committed suicide by taking an overdose of prescription meds in 1999.
Chris Benoit - age 40
WWE wrestler Chris Benoit committed suicide by hanging himself after strangling his wife to death and suffocating his 7-year-old son, Daniel. Bibles were found next to both victims. The wrestler had suffered brain damage, which is thought to have been one reason for the double murder-suicide.
Marilyn Monroe - age 36
The iconic actress allegedly committed suicide by taking an overdose of barbiturates, according to those close to her.
G.R.L. singer and X Factor finalist Simone Battle hung herself in 2014.
Jeff Alm - age 25
The NFL player killed himself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Freddie E. - age 22
Seattle rapper Freddie E. died from a self-inflicted rifle wound to the head. In the moments leading up to his suicide, he posted a note on Twitter: "If there's a God then He's calling me back home. This barrel never felt so good next to my dome. It's cold & I'd rather die than live alone." He is thought to have been depressed and heartbroken after his girlfriend ended their relationship.
Vincent Van Gogh - age 37
Van Gogh's final words were "La tristesse durera toujours" (translation: "the sadness will last forever"). The painter fatally shot himself in the stomach after struggling for years with severe depression that saw him institutionalized more than once.
Michael Alfonso - age 42
American professional wrestler Michael Alfonso, aka Mike Awesome, was found hanged at his home.
Hunter S. Thompson - age 67
Celebrated writer Hunter S. Thompson left a suicide note, titled "Football Season is Over," for his wife, Anita. At the time he was in pain from a host of health problems including broken leg and a hip replacement. He was on the phone with his wife when he died.
Christine Chubbuck - age 29
TV news reporter Christine Chubbuck shot herself in the head during a live broadcast, after struggling with depression and loneliness. "And now, in keeping with Channel 40's policy of always bringing you the latest in blood and guts, in living color, you're about to see another first - an attempted suicide."
Sylvia Plath - age 30
The brilliant poet Sylvia Plath killed herself by placing her head in a gas oven at her home. Her two young children were upstairs in bed at the time (she had taped up the kitchen door so that the gas wouldn't affect them). She was separated from her husband, the poet Ted Hughes, and struggled with terrible depression all of her adult life. Their son Nicholas Hughes also killed himself decades later, in 2009.
David Foster Wallace - age 46
The much-loved novelist and journalist David Foster Wallace hanged himself in 2008, after battling depression for decades.
Misty Upham - age 32
Actress Misty Upham went missing in October 2014 and was found dead weeks later at the bottom of a cliff. An autopsy was inconclusive about the cause of death, which may have been an accidental fall, leading to speculation that she committed suicide. Her father maintains that she would not have taken her own life. Upham is best known for her role in Frozen River(2008), which saw her nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Aaron Swartz - age 26
Aaron Swartz was a brilliant computer programmer who was involved in the development of major web technologies like RSS, the organization Creative Commons, and the social news site, Reddit. He committed suicide in 2013 while facing 50 years in prison for data-theft, a prosecution that his family described as "intimidation and prosecutorial overreach."
Virginia Woolf - age 59
Seminal British novelist Virginia Woolf drowned herself by walking into the river near her home with heavy stones in her pockets. In her suicide note she wrote, "I feel certain that I'm going mad again. I feel we can't go thru another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices."
Ernest Hemingway - age 61
The great American novelist Ernest Hemingway killed himself by placing his shotgun barrel into his mouth and pulling the trigger. He had suffered from depression and alcoholism throughout his life.
Freddie Prinze - age 22
Musician Freddie Prinze died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after struggling with depression, marital problems and drug abuse. Before he shot himself, Prinze called friends and family to say goodbye.
Diane Arbus - age 48
The iconic photographer killed herself by overdosing on prescription medicines and slashing her wrists.
Terry Kath - age 31
Terry Kath, frontman of the classic rock band Chicago, died from an accidentally self-inflicted gunshot wound while playing Russian roulette.
Reinaldo Arenas - age 47
Cuban-American writer Reinaldo Arenas died from an intentional drug and alcohol overdose in 1990. Arenas ended his life because he was suffering severe health complications from AIDS. A movie based on his autobiography, Before Night Falls, stars Javier Bardem as Arenas.
James Whale - age 67
The actor James Whale drowned himself in his swimming pool after a series of strokes left him weak and in pain. He is best remembered for 1930s horror films, including Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein.
Assia Wevill, partner of the English poet Ted Hughes, killed herself and their young daughter using a gas oven. She chose the same suicide method as Hughes' first wife, the poet Sylvia Plath.
"Goodbye, everybody!" These were the last words of American poet Hart Crane as he jumped off the cruise ship "Orizaba." His body was never found.
Wendy O. Williams - age 48
The lead singer of American punk band the Plasmatics, Wendy O. Williams died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1998. She left a suicide note for her partner of 20 years and then walked to her favorite woodland area to commit suicide.