20 Actors You May Not Know Are Dead


Hollywood’s acting talent is in a constant flow. Every decade, we get a new batch of superstars who either outlive their peaks, or die with them. It can be tough walking a straight, healthy line when you reach a certain amount of fame, especially if you’re already unhealthy to begin with. Most of us don’t know about the personal struggles that celebrities are going through behind the scenes, which include:

  • Drug addiction,
  • Physical and mental health problems,
  • Alcoholism.

This is particularly difficult to deal with when you’re constantly scrutinized by the public eye. Many celebrities have left us due to health problems, cancer, heart attacks, and complications during a surgery. Their deaths were so sudden and so long ago that you might not know about some of them. That’s why you’ll be surprised when you learn that the reason you haven’t seen the celebrities in this list is because they passed away.

Take a look at 20 actors you may not know are long-gone:

1. Richard Harris. This was possibly the biggest loss in the Harry Potter world, mostly because Harris seemed to be Dumbledore in real life. He passed away in 2002 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease.


2. James Avery. He was mostly known for playing the beloved role of Uncle Phil in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He died due to complications that arose after a heart surgery in 2013.


3. Richard Griffiths. Mostly known for playing Harry Potter’s mean uncle, Griffiths was actually a well-known and respected actor in Britain. He passed away at age 65 in 2013 due to complications from a heart surgery.


4. Chris Penn. He followed the acting steps of his older brother, Sean, starting at age 12. He starred in Reservoir Dogs, Footloose, The Funeral, Rush Hour, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, to name a few. In 2006, he died of cardiomyopathy.


5. Gary Coleman. The star of Diff’rent Strokes played characters that were much younger than his real age due to his youthful looks. This was due to his health condition, autoimmune kidney disease, and the medications that he was taking to combat it. After two kidney transplants, and frequent dialysis treatments, he died of an epidural hematoma at age 42.


6. Richard Attenborough. Before he became the beloved owner our favorite dinosaur park in Jurassic Park, he had already accumulated quite a career. He starred in The Great Escape, The Sand Pebbles and Doctor Dolittle. He died in 2014 at the age of 90.


7. Bernie Mac. A member of the Original Kings of Comedy, Mac started off as a stand-up comedian. His most known roles include Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Ocean’s Eleven and Transformers. He passed away in 2008 due to pneumonia caused by his sarcoidosis.


8. Earl Hindman. Before he passed away, Earl appeared in movies like Silverado, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and C.H.U.D. He’s mostly known for his role as the Tim’s friendly neighbor in Home Improvement. He died in 2003 due to lung cancer.


9. Dana Hill. After appearing in a number of television ads, the actress appeared in Mork & Mindy, Magnum P.I. and Fallen Angel. She’s mostly known for her role in National Lampoon’s European Vacation, where she replaced Dana Barron in the role of Audrey Griswald. She died of a stroke at the age of 32.


10. Sage Stallone. Sylvester Stallone’s son played the role of Rocky Balboa Jr. in Rocky V. He worked in the film industry for most of his life until he passed away from a heart attack at age 36.


11. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. The WWE star paved the way for wrestlers-turned-Hollywood-stars. Roddy starred in the 1988 cult classic They Live, a handful of B-movies and a ton of comedic TV appearances in shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He died in 2015 from a heart attack.


12. Michael Clarke Duncan. Known for playing the gentle giant in many movies, Duncan also possessed massive amounts of talent as a dramatic actor. He was in Armageddon, Daredevil and in the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Green Mile. He died from a heart attack in 2012.


13. Thuy Trang. She played the role of the yellow ranger in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Starring in one of the most popular TV shows at the time gave her the start of a promising acting career, but she was unable to see those dreams realized. She died in a car accident at the age of 27.


14. Lisa Robin Kelly. The cheerful blonde entertained audiences when she starred in That 70’s Show. After battling substance abuse, Kelly checked herself into rehab in 2013. She passed away in her sleep due to an accidental drug overdose.


15. Dominique Dunne. Another actress from Poltergeist who was met with a tragic early death. She also appeared in Chips, Fame and The Quest. The year Poltergeist was released, her boyfriend murdered in front of her West Hollywood property.


16. Harold Ramis. In 2014, Ramis passed away due to an autoimmune disease. He was 70 years old. The beloved nerd-favorite starred in films like Stripes, National Lampoon’s Vacation and Ghostbusters. When he wasn’t an actor, he worked behind the scenes for films like Groundhog Day and Caddyshack.


17. Dana Plato. She played Kimberly Drummond in the television series Diff’rent Strokes, where she starred alongside Gary Coleman. Soon after she became famous, Dana became addicted to drugs and alcohol. Eventually, the network released her from her contract and she hit rock bottom pretty quickly after that. In 1999, at the age of 35, Dana passed away when she overdosed on Lortab and Valium.


18. Heather O Rourke. Heather was known for playing the little girl who got sucked into the television set in Poltergeist. In Poltergeist III, you can see the way her cheeks look puffy. This was due to the medication she was taking for a misdiagnosed case of Crohn’s disease. A the age of 12, Heather died from cardiac arrest while undergoing surgery for a bowel obstruction.


19. Lee Thompson Young. He was one of the of the rising stars in the popular Disney Channel show, The Famous Jett Jackson, which also featured Rachel McAdams. Some other films in his resume include Friday Night Lights, The Hills Have Eyes II and Akeelah and the Bee. In 2013, after a long battle with his a severe case of bipolar disorder, he committed suicide by shooting himself with a shotgun.


20. Brad Renfro. The actor rose to fame when he starred in Joel Schumacher’s adaptation of John Grisham’s The Client. He appeared in Sleepers, alongside Brad Pitt, in Ghost World, alongside Scarlett Johansson, and in The Informers, starring Kim Basinger. The fate that befell him was tragic: he became a drug addict and had trouble with the law. In 2008, he was found dead of an accidental heroin overdose in his apartment in Los Angeles.


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