Home > News & Advice > News Obituaries > Famous Faces of Suicide

Famous Faces of Suicide

by Legacy Staff

Suicide, perhaps more than any other cause of death, leaves family and friends dealing with profound grief. As we search for answers, it’s important to remember that we are not alone. Suicide can touch the lives of anyone, anywhere, regardless of race, creed, gender or economic standing. Scientifically and socially, we’ve made progress in understanding and accepting the reality of suicide. It’s important to keep that discussion active. Join us as we remember these notable people who ended their own lives, honor what they accomplished, and acknowledge that success does not exclude despair.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN (1956 – 2018) 

Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images

Food writer, chef, and TV star ANTHONY BOURDAIN (1956 – 2018) taught Americans how to embrace and relish cultures around the world.

View Anthony Bourdain’s obituary


KATE SPADE (1962 – 2018) 

David Howells/Corbis via Getty Images

Fashion designer KATE SPADE (1962 – 2018) was known for her stylish handbags and bubbly personality. “I hope that people remember me not just as a good businesswoman,” she told Glamour magazine in 2002, “but as a great friend — and a heck of a lot of fun.”

View Kate Spade’s obituary

Margot Kidder (1948 – 2018)

Harry Langdon/Getty Images

Margot Kidder (1948 – 2018) became the world’s Lois Lane as she starred opposite Christopher Reeve in the popular “Superman” film series of the 1970s and ’80s.

View Margot Kidder’s obituary

VERNE TROYER (1969 – 2018)

Kristian Dowling / Getty Images

Actor VERNE TROYER (1969 – 2018) was best-known as Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” movies.

View Verne Troyer’s obituary

Avicii, (1989 – 2018)

Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for CBS Radio Inc.

Swedish musician and DJ Avicii, (1989 – 2018), born Tim Bergling, performed sold-out concerts for feverish fans around the world and also had massive success on U.S. pop radio.

View Avicii’s obituary


Jennifer Lourie/Getty Images

CHESTER BENNINGTON (1976 – 2017), the lead singer of rock group Linkin Park, reportedly was devastated when his friend Chris Cornell killed himself. Bennington followed just two months later on Cornell’s birthday. The Linkin Park song “One More Light,” about the death of a friend, was released after Bennington’s death.

View CHester Bennington’s obituary

STEVIE RYAN (1984 – 2017)

Michael Buckner/Getty Images for VH1

STEVIE RYAN (1984 – 2017) went from viral YouTube sensation to her own television show on VH1.

View Stevie Ryan’s obituary

CHRIS CORNELL (1964 – 2017)

Casey Curry/Invision/AP

As the lead singer and songwriter for Soundgarden, CHRIS CORNELL (1964 – 2017) was one of the architects of the 1990s grunge rock movement.

View Chris Cornell’s obituary

TOMMY PAGE (1970 – 2017) 

Paul Natkin/WireImage

Recording artist turned music executive TOMMY PAGE (1970 – 2017) had a No. 1 hit in 1990 with “I’ll Be Your Everything.” The former Billboard magazine publisher is survived by his husband and three children.

View Tommy Page’s obituary

KEITH EMERSON (1944 – 2016)

Getty Images / Redferns / Photo by Jorgen Angel

Keyboardist KEITH EMERSON (1944 – 2016) was a founding member of the prog rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

View Keith Emerson’s obituary

 DAVE MIRRA (1974 – 2016)

AP Photo / Ed Reinke

BMX racer DAVE MIRRA (1974 – 2016) held the record for most X Games medals until 2013 — 24 total, 14 of them gold — and medaled in every X Games from the games’ inception in 1995 up to 2009.

View Dave Mirra’s obituary

SAM SARPONG (1975 – 2015) 

Getty Images / FilmMagic / Michael Kovac

Model and actor SAM SARPONG (1975 – 2015) was a former host of MTV’s “Yo Momma.”

View Sam Sarpong’s obituary

ROBIN WILLIAMS (1951 – 2014)

Vera Anderson/WireImage

With his absurd style of rapid-fire comedy, actor and comedian ROBIN WILLIAMS (1951 – 2014) was one of Hollywood’s most sought-after stars.

View Robin Williams’ obituary

SAWYER SWEETEN (1995 – 2015)

Getty Images / Kevin Winter

Actor SAWYER SWEETEN (1995 – 2015) was best known as one of the twins on popular TV sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

View Sawyer Sweeten’s obituary

CHARLOTTE DAWSON (1966 – 2014)

Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Television presenter CHARLOTTE DAWSON (1966 – 2014) was popular both in Australia and her native New Zealand.

Read more

LEE THOMPSON YOUNG (1984 – 2013) 

AP Photo/TNT, Darren Michaels

Actor LEE THOMPSON YOUNG (1984 – 2013) was known for his role as the title character on TV’s The Famous Jett Jackson. He just 29 when he died by suicide.

View Lee Thompson Young’s obituary

MINDY MCCREADY (1975 – 2013)

AP Photo

Country music singer MINDY MCCREADY (1975 – 2013) found early fame with songs such as “Ten Thousand Angels” and “Guys Do It All the Time.” She long struggled with substance-abuse problems and publicly tried — and ultimately failed — to get sober on Celebrity Rehab. McCready died by suicide at 37.

View Mindy McCready’s obituary


The Guardian

PAUL BHATTACHARJEE (1960 – 2013) was an elegant and meticulous British actor whose work ranged from Shakespeare to “EastEnders” to blockbuster films.

View Paul Bhattacharjee’s obituary

DICK TRICKLE (1941 – 2013)

Getty Images

An old-school driver with an odd name, and a guy who earned an almost cult-like following among fans, DICK TRICKLE (1941 – 2013) was remembered for his role as a mentor to many drivers who went on to have far greater success in NASCAR than Trickle ever achieved.

View Dick Trickle’s obituary

JUNIOR SEAU (1969 – 2012)

Tom Herde/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

American football player JUNIOR SEAU (1969 – 2012) spent nearly 20 years in the NFL, earning dozens of honors before retiring after the 2009 season.

View Junior Seau’s obituary

DON CORNELIUS (1936 – 2012)

Robin Platzer/FilmMagic

Starting in 1971 and lasting for 35 years, “Soul Train” was an American TV show like no other, showcasing the best of R&B, soul and hip-hop music. At the heart of it all was the show’s creator and longtime host, DON CORNELIUS (1936 – 2012).

View Don Cornelius’ obituary

TONY SCOTT (1944 – 2012)

Marc Susset-Lacroix/WireImage

Getty Images

English filmmaker TONY SCOTT (1944 – 2012) was one of Hollywood’s top directors with hits such as “Top Gun,” “Days of Thunder,” and “Beverly Hills Cop II” to his credit.

View Tony Scott’s obituary

GARY SPEED (1969 – 2011) 

Clint Hughes – The FA/The FA Via Getty Images

GARY SPEED (1969 – 2011) enjoyed a remarkably long career as a professional footballer with Leeds United and Everton and was Wales’s second most capped player before becoming coach and manager of the Welsh national side.

View Gary Speed’s obituary



British fashion designer ALEXANDER MCQUEEN (1969 – 2010) spent a relatively short time in the spotlight but he changed the way clothes were worn and created as well as the way they were presented.

View Alexander McQueen’s obituary

PAUL HESTER (1959 – 2005)

Bob King/Redferns

When he was eight, Australian PAUL HESTER (1959 – 2005) wrote in his diary that he wanted to be a famous drummer, but added that he did not want to get into trouble with the police. He got his wish when he joined Crowded House.

View Paul Hester’s obituary

IRIS CHANG (1968 – 2004)

San Francisco Chronicle / Robert Spencer

American historian and journalist IRIS CHANG (1968 – 2004) gained an international reputation in 1997, when she was only 29, for writing “The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II.”

Read more

JONATHAN BRANDIS (1976 – 2003)

Aaron Rappoport/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

JONATHAN BRANDIS (1976 – 2003) was a 1990s teen idol who got his big break starring in the 1990 miniseries Stephen King’s It and the movie sequel “The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter.” But it was “seaQuest DSV” that propelled him to his greatest fame as he played young scientist Lucas Wolenczak.

Read more

STUART ADAMSON (1958 – 2001)

Brian Rasic/Getty Images

Among those to eulogize Scots guitar hero STUART ADAMSON (1958 – 2001) was U2’s The Edge, who summed up what Adamson’s music conveyed and why so many fans were drawn to him. “He had a heart as big as a mountain.”

Read more

MICHAEL HUTCHENCE (1960 – 1997) 

Getty Images

As the lead singer and lyricist for INXS, Australian MICHAEL HUTCHENCE (1960 – 1997) helped drive the sound of 1980s music.

Read more


Ron Galella/WireImage

American actress and model MARGAUX HEMINGWAY (1954 – 1996) seemed to have it all before she took her own life, like her famous grandfather before her.

Read more

MAY AYIM (1960 – 1996)

May Ayim

German poet, educator, author, and activist MAY AYIM (1960 – 1996) was known for her pioneering work in the field of Afro-German history.

Read more

KURT COBAIN (1967 – 1994) 

Getty Images / Hulton Archive / Frank Micelotta

In the early 1990s American musician KURT COBAIN (1967 – 1994) became the reluctant voice of a disaffected generation as he brought grunge to the masses.

Read more

FREDDIE PRINZE (1954 – 1977)

Wikimedia Commons

American comedian and actor FREDDIE PRINZE (1954 – 1977) didn’t stay long on this earth, but while he was here, he certainly made us laugh.

Read more

PHIL OCHS (1940 – 1976)

Getty Images / Jim McCrary

PHIL OCHS (1940 – 1976) was a prolific singer-songwriter and an icon within the 1960s counterculture movement. But mental illness and drug addiction overcame Ochs, and he killed himself at 35.

Read more

PETE HAM (1947 – 1975)

Getty Images

There was a reason PETE HAM (1947 – 1975) and Badfinger never became the next Beatles, as many (including the Beatles themselves) thought they were poised to be. But it certainly wasn’t lack of musical talent.

Read more

YUKIO MISHIMA (1925 – 1970) 

Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Confessions of a Mask was the semi-autobiographical story of Kochan, a closeted homosexual struggling to find a place in a militaristic Japanese society. The book was an instant sensation and made YUKIO MISHIMA (1925 – 1970) a household name at the age of 24.

Read more

MARILYN MONROE (1926 – 1962) 

Baron/Getty Images

Despite her early death (or perhaps because of it), American actress MARILYN MONROE (1926 – 1962) remains a cultural icon, a constant fixture in the pop culture landscape more than 50 years after her death.

Read more

VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882 – 1941)

Wikimedia Commons

There was a playful side to modernist British writer VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882 – 1941), who we have come to think of as stern, humourless, even tortured. Her daily journal and correspondence reveal a sensitive, perceptive young woman who loved a “debauch of gossip” with her friends.

Read more

VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853 – 1890)

Wikimedia Commons

Although he remained poor and virtually unknown during his lifetime, VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853 – 1890) is considered the greatest painters of all time.

Read more