Actors Who Committed SuicidE

by bkekakis | created - 29 Jan 2017 | updated - 3 months ago | Public

1. Spencer Charters

Actor | High Sierra

Spencer Charters was a burly, moon faced man who got his start in the theater where he basically stayed until 1930. Thereafter, he quickly launched a career as a character actor in movies. His specialty was a lower-to-middle-class worker, and he portrayed many types, including judges, doctors, ...

Spencer Charters committed suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills and inhaling carbon monoxide on Jan. 25, 1945, at the age of 67. He was in ill health at the time of his death.

2. Richard Jeni

Actor | The Mask

Richard Jeni was born on April 14, 1957 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as Richard John Colangelo. He was an actor and writer, known for The Mask (1994), Richard Jeni: Platypus Man (1992) and Platypus Man (1995). He died on March 10, 2007 in West Hollywood, California, USA.

At the age of 49 committed suicide by gunshot.

On March 10, 2007, Jeni was found by his girlfriend Amy Murphy, a weather anchor and reporter for KTTV in Los Angeles, with a .38 caliber Colt Detective Special between his feet and an apparent self-inflicted handgun wound to the head in the bedroom area of his West Hollywood, California home. Jeni and Murphy had been conversing in bed, discussing breakfast and their plans for the day, when Murphy left to cook breakfast downstairs. After a few minutes, she heard the sound of a gunshot, ran upstairs, discovered Jeni's condition, and called 9-1-1. Police and paramedics arrived and transported Jeni to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he died. His family later stated with certainty that the death was a suicide, and that Jeni had recently been diagnosed with "severe clinical depression coupled with fits of psychotic paranoia." According to the coroner's report released in June 2007, Jeni had a history of schizophrenia and had been taking antidepressants and a sleeping aid. The report further indicated that his girlfriend heard him talking to himself about a week earlier, saying "just squeeze the trigger''.

3. David Strickland

Actor | Forces of Nature

David Strickland was born in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York, on October 14, 1969. Raised in Princeton, New Jersey, he never thought about an acting career until moving to the LA suburb of Pacific Palisades while in high school. Instead of going to college, he joined a theater company and began ...

At the age of 29 committed suicide by hanging.

After checking into Room 20 of the Oasis Motel in Las Vegas, Strickland consumed several bottles of beer, hanged himself with a bed sheet over the ceiling beam, and died during the morning hours of March 22, 1999. His body was discovered by a hotel desk clerk. Evidence of drug use was found in his room. The Clark County Coroner concluded that Strickland's body bore the marks of a previous suicide attempt. After much discussion, the writers of Suddenly Susan decided to deal with Strickland's death directly. In the show's third-season finale, Todd fails to appear at work one day. When Susan (portrayed by Brooke Shields) calls Todd regarding tickets to a show, his pager vibrates on his desk. Susan spends the day searching for Todd, after learning for the first time about a number of good deeds he had done throughout his life. The episode ends when the police visit Susan and her office staff, and the details of his fate are left ambiguous. The episode is interspersed with out-of-character interviews with Shields and the show's supporting cast.

4. Lee Thompson Young

Actor | Friday Night Lights

Lee Thompson Young was born as the son of Velma Love and Tommy Scott Young. When he was in second grade his parents split up and he went to live with his mother. At age ten, he portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King in a play called "A Night of Stars and Dreams". That's when Lee decided he wanted to be ...

At the age of 29 committed suicide by gunshot.

On August 19, 2013, Young failed to show up for filming an episode of Rizzoli & Isles. Police were called to do a well-being check on him at his Los Angeles apartment, where he was found dead. His manager stated the actor had committed suicide. Police confirmed the cause of death as a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Young had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, for which he had been taking medication, and had been suffering from depression before his death.

5. Hervé Villechaize

Actor | The Man with the Golden Gun

Hervé Villechaize was born in Paris on April 23, 1943. He stopped growing very early and his father (who was a surgeon) tried to find a cure by visiting several doctors and hospitals. But there was none, so Hervé had to live with his small height and also with undersized lungs. He studied at the ...

At the age of 50 committed suicide by gunshot

6. George Sanders

Actor | All About Eve

George Sanders was born of English parents in St. Petersburg, Russia. He worked in a Birmingham textile mill, in the tobacco business and as a writer in advertising. He entered show business in London as a chorus boy, going from there to cabaret, radio and theatrical understudy. His film debut, in ...

At the age of 65 committed suicide by taking an overdose of barbiturates.

In his later years, Sanders suffered a stroke and displayed signs of dementia, which caused him to become depressed. One night, he checked into a hotel near Barcelona and was found dead two days later alongside five empty bottles of barbiturates and a note that read: “Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck. George Sanders.”

7. Marilyn Monroe

Actress | Some Like It Hot

Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, comedienne, singer, and model. She became one of the world's most enduring iconic figures and is remembered both for her winsome embodiment of the Hollywood sex symbol and her tragic personal and professional struggles within the film industry. Her life and ...

At the age of 36 committed suicide by taking an overdose of barbiturates.

This iconic bombshell died from a probable suicide by taking an overdose of barbiturates, with those close to her saying she was prone to “severe fears and frequent depressions,” as well as “abrupt and unpredictable mood changes.” Despite the verdict from the coroner, there are many conspiracy theorists who suggest that the powerful sex symbol was actually murdered or overdosed accidentally. Even President John F. Kennedy didn’t believe she committed the unfortunate act on her own terms! She certainly was gone much too soon.

8. Robin Williams

Actor | Mrs. Doubtfire

Robin McLaurin Williams was born on Saturday, July 21st, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois, a great-great-grandson of Mississippi Governor and Senator, Anselm J. McLaurin. His mother, Laurie McLaurin (née Janin), was a former model from Mississippi, and his father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, was a Ford ...

At the age of 63 committed suicide by hanging.

On August 11, 2014, Williams committed suicide at his home in Paradise Cay, California at the age of 63. In the initial report released on August 12, the Marin County Sheriff's Office deputy coroner stated Williams had hanged himself with a belt and died from asphyxiation. The final autopsy report, released in November 2014, affirmed that Williams had committed suicide as initially described; neither alcohol nor illegal drugs were involved, while all prescription drugs present in his body were at "therapeutic" levels. The report also noted that Williams had been suffering "a recent increase in paranoia". An examination of his brain tissue revealed the presence of "diffuse Lewy body dementia", which had been misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease. Describing the disease as "the terrorist inside my husband's brain", his wife Susan Schneider stated that "however you look at it—the presence of Lewy bodies took his life.

9. Jonathan Brandis

Actor | Seaquest DSV

Born in Danbury, Connecticut, USA, to Greg and Mary, Jonathan Brandis began his career at age 5, acting in television commercials. He appeared in small parts in several films and TV shows before his first starring role in the 1990 film The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990). He starred ...

At the age of 27 committed suicide by hanging.

Shortly before midnight on November 11, 2003, Brandis hanged himself in the hallway of his Los Angeles apartment building. He was discovered by friends who called paramedics who transported the actor to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Brandis died there on the afternoon of November 12 from injuries he sustained from the hanging. Brandis did not leave a suicide note. After his death, friends said that he was depressed about his waning career, which had continued to decline in the final years of his life. He was also reportedly disappointed when his appearance in the 2002 war drama Hart's War, a role he had hoped would revive his career, was significantly reduced in the film's final cut. One friend admitted to People magazine that Brandis had begun drinking heavily and had said that he intended to kill himself.

10. Johnny Lewis

Actor | Sons of Anarchy

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the middle of three siblings, Johnny began performing from the age of 5 at a small performing arts school, making his debut as a Chanukah candle.

Pursuing the acting profession, he appeared with success in many TV and film projects, handling both drama and...

At the age of 28 committed suicide by falling from the roof of his home

11. David Rappaport

Actor | Time Bandits

British actor David Rappaport earned more roles and respect than most guys his size (or any size for that matter) who attempted a professional acting career. Born with the genetic condition dwarfism (he was 3' 11"), he was often typecast in bizarre, sometimes silly and demeaning roles; but, like ...

At the age of 38 committed suicide by gunshot

12. Stanley Adams

Actor | Star Trek

Stocky character actor Stanley Adams had a relatively minor career in motion pictures, with the possible exception of his baby-faced millionaire Rusty Trawler of Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) fame. Otherwise, he played innumerable minor ethnic villains, bartenders and avuncular, fast-talking ...

At the age of 62 committed suicide by gunshot

13. Art Acord

Actor | The Set-Up

Art Acord was born on April 17, 1890 in Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA as Arthemus Ward Acord. He is known for his work on The Set-Up (1926), Set Free (1927) and The White Horseman (1921). He was married to Louise Lorraine, Edna Nores and Edythe Sterling. He died on January 4, 1931 in Chihuahua, ...

At the age of 40 committed suicide by cyanide poisoning

14. Don 'Red' Barry

Actor | Jesse James' Women

Donald Barry went from the stage to the screen. After four years of playing villains and henchmen at various studios, Barry got the role that changed his image: Red Ryder in the Republic Pictures serial Adventures of Red Ryder (1940). Although he had appeared in westerns for two years or so, this ...

At the age of 68 committed suicide by gunshot

15. Gig Young

Actor | They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Gig Young was born Byron Barr to parents John and Emma Barr in Minnesota, and raised in Washington, DC, where he developed a passion for theatre while appearing in high school plays. After gaining some amateur experience, he applied for and received a scholarship to the acclaimed Southern ...

At the age of 64 committed suicide by gunshot.

On October 19, 1978, three weeks after his marriage to Schmidt, the couple was found dead at home in their Manhattan apartment. Police theorized that Young shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself. A motive for the murder-suicide was never made clear. Young was at one time under the care of the psychologist and psychotherapist Eugene Landy, who would later have his professional California medical license revoked amidst accusations of ethical violations and patient misconduct.

16. Dana Plato

Actress | Diff'rent Strokes

Dana Michelle Plato was born in Maywood, California, on Saturday 7 November 1964. Her first excursion into the film world occurred when she was eleven in the television film Beyond the Bermuda Triangle (1975). Dana never really made an impact on the TV screen until she landed the role of Kimberly ...

At the age of 34 committed suicide by taking an overdose of painkiller Lortab and Valium.

On May 7, 1999, Plato made an appearance on The Howard Stern Show, where she announced that she was engaged to 28-year-old Robert Menchaca, and that he was managing her career. During the interview, Plato was quite frank about her life and career, even openly admitting to being a recovering addict. The interview began to go downhill however, when the phones were opened up to callers. A barrage of negative callers would hound Plato, calling her names and provoking her to the point of her offering to take a drug test while on the air. Even after the interview, Plato would never seem to get over the negativity and seemed depressed about how things were unfolding for her.

The next day, while returning to California, Plato and Menchaca would stop at Menchaca's mother's home in Moore, Oklahoma for a Mother's Day visit. Plato went to lie down inside her recreational vehicle parked outside the house and subsequently took a large dose of Lortab and Valium. Sadly and tragically, she never awoke from her sleep. Her death at the age of 34 was eventually ruled a suicide and her body was cremated.

17. George Reeves

Actor | Adventures of Superman

George Reeves was born George Keefer Brewer in Woolstock, Iowa, to Helen Roberta (Lescher) and Donald C. Brewer. He was of German, English, and Scottish descent. Reeves was raised in Pasadena, California, and educated at Pasadena Junior College. He was a skilled amateur boxer and musician. He ...

On June 16, 1959, George Reeves died as the result of a gunshot wound to his head. His death was ruled a suicide, but many believe that it may have been murder or even an accidental shooting.

18. Spalding Gray

Actor | Kate & Leopold

Spalding Gray was born on June 5, 1941 in Providence, Rhode Island, USA as Spalding Rockwell Gray. He was an actor and writer, known for Kate & Leopold (2001), Swimming to Cambodia (1987) and The Killing Fields (1984). He was married to Kathleen Russo and Renée Shafransky. He died on January 10...

n Jan. 11, 2004, Spalding Gray committed suicide by jumping off the Staten Island Ferry at the age of 62. His body was found in the East River two months later. He had suffered from severe depression after being involved in a car accident in 2002.

19. Karl Dane

Actor | The Big Parade

Born Rasmus Karl Therkelsen Gottlieb in Copenhagen, Denmark, on October 12, 1886 the future Karl Dane had a rough childhood. His father was an alcoholic and spendthrift. At a young age his parents divorced. To escape his unhappy home he took a great interest in the arts, particularly puppeteering (...

Silent film actor Karl Dane committed suicide by shooting himself in the head on April 14, 1934, at the age of 47. His declining career is believed to have been a factor in his decision to take his own life.

20. Jean Seberg

Actress | À bout de souffle

Jean Dorothy Seberg was born in Marshalltown, Iowa, to Dorothy Arline (Benson), a substitute teacher, and Edward Waldemar Seberg, a pharmacist. Her father was of Swedish descent and her mother was of English and German ancestry.

One month before her eighteenth birthday, Jean landed the title role in ...

Jean Seberg was found dead from an apparent suicide in 1979, at the age of 41. She was missing for several days before her body was found. On September 8, nine days after her disappearance, her decomposing body was found wrapped in a blanket in the back seat of her Renault, parked close to her Paris apartment in the 16th arrondissement. Police found a bottle of barbiturates, an empty mineral water bottle and a note written in French from Seberg addressed to her son.

21. Margaux Hemingway

Actress | Killer Fish

Born in Portland, Oregon, she grew up in on a farm in Ketchum, Idaho. But dad was Jack Hemingway, son of the Nobel prize winning author Ernest Hemingway and, with that heritage, fame was almost foreordained. By the time she was 21, after the lead in the rape melodrama Lipstick (1976), she had a ...

On July 1, 1996, Margaux Hemingway died of a barbiturate overdose of phenobarbital at the age of 42. Her death was later ruled a suicide. Many members of her family have taken their own lives, including her grandfather, Ernest Hemingway.

22. Carole Landis

Actress | I Wake Up Screaming

Carole Landis was born on New Year's Day in 1919 in Fairchild, Wisconsin, as Frances Lillian Mary Ridste. Her father, a railroad mechanic, was of Norwegian descent and her mother was Polish. Her father walked out, leaving Carole, her mother and an older brother and sister to fend for themselves.

...

On July 5, 1948, Carole Landis committed suicide by overdosing of Seconal at the age of 29. She was reportedly devastated by that fact that her lover, Rex Harrison, wouldn't leave his wife for her.

23. Laurie Bird

Actress | Two-Lane Blacktop

Laurie Bird was a cute and charming actress who appeared in only three pictures during her regrettably short-lived career. Bird was born on September 26, 1953 in Long Island, New York. Laurie was working as a model when she was chosen by director Monte Hellman, from nearly 500 women, to portray "...

Laurie Bird committed suicide by taking an overdose of Valium on June 15, 1979, at the age of 26. She was living with Art Garfunkel at the time of her death.

24. Todd Armstrong

Actor | Jason and the Argonauts

Todd Armstrong was born on July 25, 1937 in Missouri, USA as John Harris Armstrong. He was an actor, known for Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Icebound in the Antarctic (1983) and Iron Horse (1966). He died on November 17, 1992 in Butte, California, USA.

Todd Armstrong committed suicide by gunshot on November 17, 1992m at the age of 55. He was struggling with an addiction to painkillers at the time he took his own life.



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