6 Famous Actors Who Committed Suicide

6 Famous Actors Who Committed Suicide

Suicide is a growing mental health problem in the United States, especially among young people and people over the age of 50. When it comes to actors and actresses who commit suicide, people wonder why considering they have fame and riches. This list explores the various reasons a few stars might have ended things on their own terms.

In some cases, the suicide is unexplainable or even questionable. It shows that suicide is a complex problem while at the same time always having a tragic ending. Life is all we know, and the effects of suicide ripple through the acting community, family, friends, and fans. With that in mind, here are a few actors who committed suicide.

1. Dana Plato

actors who committed suicide

It’s not easy being a child star, and Dana Plato is proof of that. Her career kicked off when she was 14, and she played Kimberley Drummond on the TV sitcom Diff’rent Strokes. When the show ended, Plato tried to get gigs as an adult star, including modeling for Playboy, but never achieved the same success.

As life would have it, she would have one failure after another.  In fact, shortly after her divorce from Lenny Lambert, her accountant absconded with a lion’s share of her money. At the end of the day, she was left with $150,000, and things went further downhill from there. Unfortunately, in 1999, she committed suicide by poisoning herself and drinking an overdose of prescription meds. Ironically, her son, Tyler Lambert, would also commit suicide on the exact same day in 2010.

2. Robin Williams

Robin WIlliams

Comedian and actor Robin Williams was one of the most successful comedians of his time. His path to stardom was typical for an up-and-coming comedian. The star went from local bars to a major TV role (Mork and Mindy) and finally to becoming an iconic movie star.

Apparently, the star suffered from depression in the later years of his life. Additionally, there were reports that he also had a mental disorder. Then there was the depression that eventually led to him hanging himself at his California home in Paradise Gay in 2014. It was tragic that a man who spent his life making people laugh was filled with sadness that no one could ever understand.

3. Lucy Gordon

Lucy Gordon

Not a household name in the United States, Lucy Gordon was in movies like  Spider-Man 3 and Serendipity. Born in England, Gordon moved to New York to advance her career, then later moved to Paris, France, with her boyfriend. The actress killed herself by hanging and even left behind two suicide notes. One note of sadness that follows her death is that as clear as her intentions were, the reasons remain unknown. The actress had just finished filming the movie, Gainsbourg.

4. Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

When it comes to actors who committed suicide, Marilyn Monroe‘s is one of the most famous. Though her career peaked in the 1950s, she’s the embodiment of the blonde bimbo. Through stardom and celebrity marriages, she tried to escape the stereotype by taking dramatic roles instead of comedies that grossly underpaid her.

Before her death, she’d been seeing a psychiatrist and was given anti-depressants to stabilize her mood swings. Unfortunately, she was found dead after locking her room and taking a lethal combination of prescription drugs in 1962. Despite the evidence, the Los Angeles coroner had labeled her death as a “probable suicide.”

5. Freddie Prinze

actors who committed suicide

Freddy Prinze is the father of Freddy Prinze Jr., who was popular for the TV series Chico and the Man. He had a long history of depression and managed it through his early successes. However, his success was combined with a troubled marriage that he desperately wanted to keep together. His efforts were wasted as his wife filed for divorce in 1976.

Several weeks later, in January of 1977, Prinze shot himself in the head in front of his business manager. There were rumors that it was an accident because Prinze was known for playing Russian roulette. However, a suicide note quashed those rumors. Later, it would be revealed that he called family members to say goodbye before he shot himself.

6. Lee Thompson Young

actors who committed suicide

The suicide of Lee Thompson Young illustrates the cultural stigma of being a person with a mental disorder. Known for his most recent work in the TNT series Rizzoli & Isles, he shot himself with a gun at the age of 26. It took almost one year for the family to come forward and tell the world that he had bipolar disorder, and was initially diagnosed when he was a teenager.

His mother said that there were times he’d become extremely sad, then appeared to recover quickly. The reason the family came forward was to raise awareness about bipolar disorder. What is sadder is that it took a tragedy for the family to speak up. People say that one person can make a difference, but when it comes to mental illness, that mantra does not seem to hold true.

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