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23 Famous People Who Committed Suicide

how did chester bennington die famous people who committed suicide chester bennington in a white tank leaning down on stage as he sings into a mic
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Last updated on August 4th, 2023 at 07:32 am

It is difficult to maintain mental health in our constantly changing world, and individuals lose the battle every day. Whether you are famous or not, suicide affects everyone of every age and every background.

In the past few years, we have lost many celebrities to suicide. Read on to learn about famous people who committed suicide.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please ask for help. Dial 988 at any time, day or night, or call 911.

1. Naomi Judd

singer naomi judd on the red carpet with her hair pulled back
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Country star Naomi Judd left the world in shock on April 30th, 2022, when she passed away due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound by her daughter Ashley Judd. Her suicide occurred just before she was scheduled to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Related: The Best 18 Female Country Singers of All Time

2. Robin Williams

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An actor known for his roles in Dead Poets Society and Mrs. Doubtfire, he is perhaps the most famous person to commit suicide. Robin took his own life in 2014 in Los Angeles shortly after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

3. Michael Hutchence

fan image of michael hutchence prior to his death in the 80s
Image is public domain.

Once the singer for INXS, Michael Hutchence committed suicide in 1997 after suffering a traumatic brain injury in 1992. Although the exact circumstances of his death came under investigation, it is clear he died from an overdose, whether self-inflicted or an accident.

Related: The 15 Best Australian Bands of All Time

4. Chester Bennington

chester bennington in a white tank leaning down on stage as he sings into a mic
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Well known for his work as frontman of the rock band Linkin Park, Chester Bennington took his own life on July 20th, 2017. He had been suffering from depression for years.

5. Anthony Bourdain

anthony bourdain sitting in a chair in a green jacket and jeans
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Known for his work as a celebrity chef and travel documentarian, Anthony shocked the world when he committed suicide on June 8th, 2018, in his hotel room in France. He was just 61 years old.

6. Kurt Cobain

large image of kurt cobain on the cover of a record album
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It’s been almost 30 years, but no one has forgotten the heartbreaking suicide of Kurt Cobain on April 5th, 1994. After years of suffering from untreated depression, Cobain spiraled into a severe drug addiction which added to his mental issues.

Related: How Did Kurt Cobain Die?

7. Chris Cornell

chris cornell playing guitar on stage while singing
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Next on our list of famous people who committed suicide is Chris Cornell, the Soundgarden frontman. Chris had spoken openly about his depression over the years. Cornell overdosed on anxiety medications he had been prescribed and ending his life on May 18th, 2017.

8. Clay Adler

actor clay adler in a blue shirt
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Clay Adler was an actor known for his role in Newport Harbor: The Real Orange County. He was found dead on March 26th, 2017, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

9. Avicii

aviciis cross in a graveyard in delft, Netherlands
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Avicii is perhaps the most famous EDM artist who committed suicide, taking his own life when he was just 28 years old. Unlike other famous people who committed suicide, Avicii was still making music at the time of his death, although he hadn’t performed since 2016. He passed away on April 20th, 2018.

Related: How Did Avicii Die?

10. Kim Jonghyun

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Kim Jonghyun was a famous K-POP star most well-known for his work with the group SHINee. His suicide was widely blamed on the intense pressure K-POP singers experience in a saturated and demanding industry.

11. Stephanie Adams

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Stephanie Adams was a Playboy model and self-made millionaire. On May 18th, 2018, she jumped out of a 25th-story hotel room window. Sadly, she threw her 7-year-old son out the window first, ending both of their lives.

12. Bob Welch

bob welch and jimmy robinson in the studio in 1973
Image is in the public domain.

Bob Welch, one of Fleetwood Mac’s many guitarists in their storied history, became one of many famous people who committed suicide on June 7th, 2012. He had begun to experience health problems, and at 66, he felt his life was spinning out of control and took his own life.

13. Paul Williams

how did paul williams die the temptations on the ed sullivan show
1969 Press Publicity Photograph. Image is in the Public Domain. Publicity for Motown Records & The Ed Sullivan Show Left to right: Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, and Dennis Edwards.

The story of the Temptations is rife with problems of members passing away before their time. Singer Paul Williams reportedly took his own life on August 17, 1973, although he had left the band two years earlier.

Related: How Did Paul Williams The Temptations Singer Die?

14. Mike Alfonso

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Michael Alfonso, aka Mike Awesome, was a professional wrestler with a successful career until he hung himself on February 17th, 2007. He did not have a history of depression; however, his wife had just told him she wanted a divorce, causing him to become distraught.

15. Sulli

light up words kpop on a brick wall
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Another K-POP artist on our list of famous people who committed suicide is Sulli, who was part of group F(X). She was just 29 years old when she took her own life in 2019. As a result, her friend Goo Hara, another K-POP star in the group KARA, took her own life as well just 6 months later.

16. Phil Ochs

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Legendary folk singer Phil Ochs, who was friends with everyone from Bob Dylan to Pete Seeger, took his own life when he was just 35 years old. He reportedly suffered from depression for years prior to his suicide in 1976.

17. Simone Battle

simone battle in a multicolor sparkle dress on the red carpet
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Simone was a child actress, starring in shows like Zoey 101 and What We Need before taking her own life on September 5th, 2014, when she was just 25 years old.

18. Butch Trucks

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Once the drummer for the Allman Brothers Band, drummer Butch Trucks became one of the most famous people who committed suicide in 2017 when he took his own life shortly after being named one of the top 100 drummers of all time.

Related: The Best Allman Brothers Songs

19. Elliott Smith

songs about death a pot with in loving memory on it with flowers in it
Image by Sandy Millar on Unsplash.

We’ve included Elliott Smith in our list of famous people who have committed suicide, but many speculate if his death was suicide or not. His death occurred on October 21, 2003, though it is unclear if his chest wounds were self-inflicted or inflicted by someone else.

Related: How Did Elliott Smith Die?

20. Mary Kay Bergman

all the characters of south park lined up
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Although her face isn’t recognizable, most people know Mary Kay as the voice of all the female characters in the hit cartoon South Park as well as cartoon Daphne in Scooby Doo. Sadly, Mary Kay took her own life on November 11, 1999, when she was just 38 years old.

21. John McAfee

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Most well-known for his computer security software under his last name McAfee, John reportedly killed himself while in a Spanish Jail in 2021 to avoid extradition. Prior to his death, John began to act erratically, and much of his behavior is recorded in a Netflix documentary Running With The Devil.

22. Marilyn Monroe

how did marilyn monroe die? young mayilyn on the beach in a bikini
Postcard photo of Marilyn Monroe. The photo is from her pre-stardom days when she did shoots for calendar photos, etc. Taken in the 1940s. Image is in the public domain.

While her death isn’t a confirmed suicide, many suspect that bombshell Marilyn Monroe overdosed on purpose to end her life. Marilyn had also attempted suicide previously, only to be discovered and saved. In the end, her death was ruled a probable suicide.

Related: How Did Marilyn Monroe Die?

23. Ian Curtis

ian curtis' grave with gifts on top
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Last on our list of famous people who committed suicide is Ian Curtis, who was the lead singer and songwriter of the British band Joy Division. He reportedly killed himself on May 18th, 1980, after months of intense professional pressure and an unsuccessful suicide attempt just one month prior.

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Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!

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