Dead celebrities

I find it quite remarkable that certain people’s death, persons you never knew or met, can affect you so much. This is especially true in the case of celebrities; not so much for what they’ve done, necessarily, but for what period in your own life they represent.

I though I’d name some people’s deaths that has touched me in different ways.

Kurt Cobain

I remember when I was 16, going to school. One day a friend of mine, who also liked rock and heavy metal, said:

Man, have you heard this new band Nirvana? They’re really good!

A picture of the poster for Nirvana's gig in Sweden 1992

After that, for me as probably for many other people, it started with the song Smells Like Teen Spirit, and I listened to them for a couple of years. I’ll never forget the day, I was doing my military duty and had just walked into the lunch cafeteria, when I saw the news bill telling about Kurt’s suicide. After that, there were an abundance of conspiracy theories and other tales going on about him for quite some time.

What I sincerely do regret is that I never got to see him and Nirvana live, even though they played once in Sweden in 1992. If you want to walk the Cobain memory lane, I recommend reading Heavier than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain.

Steve Irwin

This fall Steve Irwin passed away after an incident with a sting ray while diving. I watched many of his shows and I’ve been to his Australia Zoo once as well. I wrote more about it just when it happened in The loss of Steve Irwin.

Anna Nicole Smith

Just recently, Anna Nicole Smith passed away. Back in 1993, she was a lingerie model for a well-know Swedish clothes chain, and every teenager boy was drooling over the pictures. They were stolen from billboards all over, and everyone in Sweden knew about her then. Then a Playboy video started to spread, and the success amongst adolescent boys was a fact.

Basically, from there on, it went downhill for her. Her marriage to 89-year old billionaire J Howard Marshall II, followed by his death the next year; the processing for his money; gaining weight and panic dieting, and so on. Last fall, she must’ve went through an emotional roller-coaster way worse than probably most of us ever will. She gave birth to a daughter September 7th (followed by lawsuits about the fatherhood), her son Daniel died three days later, and after yet another five days she got married…

Now, she has just died and already there are rumors about an overdose, and apparently, an actual paparazzi video tape has been sold, showing her struggle for her life with the ambulance staff trying to save her. A sad story, and I can’t help to feel sorry for the poor new-born daughter.


If you want to stay on top of the celebrities who have died, or just feel in the mood to browse around some names, I’d recommend a visit to the Dead People Server.


  • Jules says:

    I seem to be saddened most by the death, particularly selfless death, of aspiring musicians, notably Kurk Cobain, Jimmy Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn. These are people whose talents were undisputed and it makes me wonder what amazing music they may have created had they not died early.

  • Jules says:

    Sorry, I meant senseless death instead of selfless death.

  • Devon Young says:

    Some big celebrity deaths that've hit me were Kurt Cobain, Tupac Shakur, and I was only 6 when my brother Joel woke me up and told me John Lennon was shot.

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Yes, I really wonder where they would be today; especially Hendrix and Cobain.


    I was never into Tupac, but I remember the enormous amount of rumors surrounding his death, especially the parts about Machiavelli and that he faked his own death to go underground (more in Top 20 Reasons Why 2Pac Is Alive). I don't remember Lennon's death, although I was also six years old when it happened.

  • Johan says:

    Violent deaths always hit hard, or when people die young. Well-known people idolised by many, often have that aura of an idol can never die. The idol is immortal, like a spiritual and religious iconic creature might explain our unexplainable *personal* grief for someone we dont even know.

  • Maaike says:

    I was very sad when Elliot Smith died.

  • Better to burn out, than to fade away…

    Just wanted to add Robert Johnson and Janis Joplin to the list…

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Oh yes, Robert and Janis are definitely missed.

  • Liz says:

    One day your on top of the world .and them :.celebrities life…It hard to stay on top in hollywood your phone stop ringing. your fan vade away you make bad investment are some movie stars and rock stars drink are use drug they feel it no way out.they cant see they self cleaning bathroom are working at a hotel .. just think you started acting at a very young age, you have alway had money but now your rich, and million of people love you > and to lose all of thats is a nightmare .and this is why some movie stars are rocks take there own life.,,

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Well, absolutely. But I think lots of people, stars as well as "ordinary" people, go through ups and downs in their lives, and most actually manage to make it through and go on.

  • […] Well, everyone probably had some strong opinion about her, and she died soon after her son had passed away. I wrote about this in Dead celebrities. […]

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