20+ Actors And Actress Who Died with mysterious Cause of Death

Losing a Hollywood star is always tough, especially when they die at a young age. Celebrities such as Whitney Houston, Cory Monteith, and Robin Williams passed away suddenly and without any warning or diseases. Also, some, like Willie Garson and Norm Macdonald, renowned stars fought long battles with cancer. However, some celebrities’ deaths remain mysterious, even though authorities have made rulings. Here’s a list of actors and actresses whose deaths still raise questions about their true cause!

Bob Crane

Bob Crane

The American actor, drummer, and radio personality who was also a disc jockey was well-known for appearing in the American television sitcom, Hogan’s Heroes. However, on June 29, 1978, the actor’s body was found in his house in Arizona in a Bludgeoned state. The case of the Hogan’s Heroes star was clearly explained in the film Auto Focus and A&E’s Cold Case Files. In 1990, the murder case was reopened, and Bob’s friend Carpenter was held accountable.

David Carradine

David Carradine

The American actor, director, and producer, whose professional career includes working in over 200 films, is widely known for appearing in the television series Kung Fu as Kwai Chang Caine. However, on June 4, 2009, the Kill Bill star’s body was discovered in a hotel room closet with a rope around his neck. The Bangkok police stated that the body was discovered in a sitting position, and the rope was tied to his neck and was attached to the closet bar.

Elizabeth Short

Elizabeth Short

The American woman who was commonly known as Black Dahlia, was a 22-year-old aspiring actress who was found murdered very badly in Los Angeles on January 15, 1947. Her murder case gained a lot of attention at that time because her body was mutilated into pieces through her waist. However, the case of the upcoming young actress was never solved. To honor her story, The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy came out in 1987, and a movie inspired by this was released in 2006.

George Reeves

George Reeves

Another American actor whose cause of death has remained mysterious even after his death is George Reeves. He was an American actor who was mostly known for appearing as Superman in the television series Adventures of Superman. However, in 1959, the actor was discovered dead lying naked in his bed with a gunshot wound to the temple. The death remained mysterious but it was ruled as a suicide and was the subject of a 2006 movie. However, his mother revealed that his ex-lover, Toni Mannix had shot him with his gun.

Jack Nance

Jack Nance

The American actor, whose real name was Marvin John Nance was a longtime collaborator of filmmaker David Lynch because he played the main role in his directional debut film, Eraserhead. He also played the role of Pete Martell on Twin Peaks. However, on Dec. 30, 1996, Nance was discovered dead and the cause of death was ruled as subdural hematoma caused by blunt-force trauma. It was not revealed how it was inflicted but people saw him get knocked down during a fight with two men.

JonBenét Ramsey

JonBenét Ramsey

Another star whose cause of death is mysterious is JonBenét Ramsey. She was an American child beauty queen who was killed at the very young age of six. The beauty pageant contestant was murdered at her home in Colorado. Her parents have stated that they got a ransom note from someone in which they were demanding $118,000 in exchange for their daughter’s return. However, later it was suspected that her parents were behind this but they stated that they were innocent.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe was a popular American actress and model who was known for playing comic-blonde bombshell characters. The actress also became a sex symbol in the 1950s and early 1960s. However, the actress’s sudden death in 1962 was ruled as a suicide when she went into a coma after taking endless sleeping pills. It has been stated that there is more mystery to this case and it may be a murder by a mafia in retaliation to her affairs with President John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.

Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood

The American actress who began her professional career as a child is Natalie Wood and she was successfully transitioned into an adult actress. However, in 1981, the actress died suddenly after drowning in a lake when she was in a boat with her husband, Robert Wagner, and Christopher Walken. Her death was ruled as accidental drowning but questions were raised as to what happened on the boat between her and her husband.

Nicole Brown Simpson

Nicole Brown Simpson

The second wife of American football player O. J. Simpson was Nicole Brown Simpson. The couple met in the year 1977 and ultimately got married in 1985 but their marriage only survived seven years.  However, the lady was stabbed to death in 1994 outside Simpson’s Brentwood house. It was also revealed that her ex-husband was behind all of this because blood-stained clothes were found at his place. But he was later acquitted of all the charges.

Thomas Ince

Thomas Ince

Another American silent-era filmmaker and media proprietor whose real name was Thomas Harper Ince was well-known for making over 800 films. He was also known as the Father of the Western and three of his films were selected for the National Film Registry. In 1924, he was reportedly on a Yacht with William Randolph Hearst where he reportedly got sick. After this, he was brought to shore and ultimately died after four days. The cause of death was ruled as a heart attack but some believed that while on the yacht he was accidentally shot and this resulted in his death.

Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur

American rapper and songwriter, whose real name was Lesane Parish Crooks was commonly known by his stage names, 2Pac and Makaveli. He was labeled as one of the most influential music artists of the 20th century due to his songs. However, the popular was shot dead on Sept. 13, 1996, in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. At the time of his death, he was only 25 years old. The circumstances surrounding his shooting remain a mystery at the moment.

Christopher Wallace

Christopher Wallace

Christopher George Latore Wallace, who is also known as The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls is a popular rapper who is considered as one of the greatest rappers of all time. However, the all-time great was shot dead on March 9, 1997, in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas but the actual culprits have not been revealed. At the time of his death, he was only 25 years old.

William Desmond Taylor

William Desmond Taylor

Another celebrity whose cause of death remains a mystery is William Desmond Taylor, who was a popular Anglo-Irish-American film director and actor. From 1914 to 1922, he directed over 60 films and shorts. He also served as president of the Motion Picture Directors Association during that time. However, in 1922 his dead body was found at his home with gunshots at his back. The neighbors stated that they saw a man leaving Taylor’s house but no arrests were made.

Thelma Todd

Thelma Todd

The American actress and businesswoman who was also known by the nicknames, The Ice Cream Blonde and Hot Toddy, was featured in a total of 120 films. However, the actress died in 1935 due to carbon monoxide poisoning and her autopsy showed that her throat had signs of trauma. The suspects were ex-husband, her current lover, and the gangster, Lucky Luciano. Also, the investigation of her case was not able to come to a conclusion.

Johnny Stompanato

Johnny Stompanato

The U.S. Marine who turned into a gangster and worked as a bodyguard and enforcer for Mickey Cohen was Johnny Stompanato. In 1958, the gangster was stabbed to death but it was believed to be a murder. However, it was not revealed who actually did the murder, film star, Lana Turner, who was his girlfriend, or his 14-year-old daughter, Cheryl Crane.

Virginia Rappe

Virginia Rappe who was also known as Virginia Caroline Rappe was an American model and silent film actress. However, in 1921, the actress passed away due to internal injuries after a raucous party in a hotel room in San Francisco. Actor Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle, a huge star is suspected of her murder was she was last seen with him, and after they went into a bedroom together and after some time screams were heard.

Brian Jones

Brian Jones

Another celebrity whose cause of death remains a mystery is the well-known musician Brian Jones. He was an English musician and founder of the Rolling Stones, who initially started his career as a guitarist. However, in 1969 the musician died from some suspicious circumstances while he was swimming. Some neighbors reported that they heard screams from his house the next morning. The officials think that it was death by misadventure but something still remains to missing in his death.

Dr. Haing S. Ngor

Dr. Haing S. Ngor

Dr. Haing S. Ngor was a popular Cambodian-born American actor, gynecologist, and obstetrician who was also known by his real name Haing Somnang Ngor. The actor earned a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Killing Fields which was released in 1984. However, in 1996 he was eventually murdered outside his house and his family thought it was an act of revenge from Cambodians for his outspoken support for human rights. It has not been revealed who was behind the shooting.

Dorothy Kilgallen

Dorothy Kilgallen

The American columnist and journalist whose real name was Dorothy Mae Kilgallen was also a television game show panelist. She kick-started her professional journey just after her 18th birthday as a reporter and was successful. However, in 1965, she died under mysterious circumstances while she was investigating Kennedy’s death. Her death was first ruled as an accidental overdose of alcohol and pills, however, some found her death to be coincidental because she was investigating the death of John F. Kennedy.

Elliott Smith

Elliott Smith

Another American musician and singer whose circumstances surrounding the death have remained mysterious is Elliott Smith, whose real name is Steven Paul Smith. In 2003, the popular musician stabbed himself twice in his chest after his girlfriend went into the shower after having an argument. It was revealed that he had a problem with drugs throughout his life but at the time of his death, he was sober. Many people believe that his girlfriend was involved in his murder.

Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy was an American actress and singer, whose real name was Brittany Anne Murphy-Monjack. The celebrity was known for her proficiency in comedy and drama simultaneously. However, in 2009 the actress died from some mysterious causes that were not disclosed. However, the coroner’s investigation revealed that she died from pneumonia, exacerbated by anemia. However, her fans believe that there is still something which is wrong with her demise.

Bonnie Lee Bakely

Bonnie Lee Bakely

Another popular celebrity who died under mysterious circumstances is the second wife of actor Robert Blake. The spouse of the popular actor was shot dead while she was waiting for Robert in the year 2001. The car was parked in the parking area of a restaurant in Los Angeles. Therefore after the investigation, her husband was found guilty of her murder in addition to solicitation of murder, and conspiracy.

Bob Saget

Bob Saget

Bob Saget whose real name was Robert Lane Saget, was an American stand-up comedian, actor, director, and television host. He is widely recognized for portraying Danny Tanner on the sitcom Full House. However, in 2022 he was found dead at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes hotel in Florida, where he had gone for his stand-up comedy show. It was revealed that he had blunt trauma on his head but fans believe that there is something left out.

Richey Edwards

Richey Edwards

The Welsh musician who was the lyricist and rhythm guitarist of the band Manic Street Preachers was known by his stage name Richey James or Richey Manic. The musician, who was known for his political and dark songwriting died unexpectedly when his car was discovered near a suicide bridge. Many fans believed that he jumped off the bridge because it was revealed by his family that he was suffering from depression and has often inflicted harm himself.

Mary Meyer

Mary Meyer

The American socialite, who was also known as the wife of Cord Meyer, was rumored to be the mistress of politician John F. Kennedy. In 1964, the socialite was shot in the open area after she finished painting and went for a walk along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The nearby people stated that they heard two gunshots nearby and also saw two men sneaking from the place wearing black clothes. It was stated that the death was coincidental to Kennedy’s presidency and assassination.

Barbara Colby

Barbara Colby

Barbara Colbt was an American actress who appeared in episodes of numerous television series before a 1974 appearance on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The actress was shot in the year 1975 when she walked to her car with her friend James Kiernan. Colby was killed instantly. Kiernan, however, managed to describe the shooters to the police before he died from his wounds.

Peter Ivers

Peter Ivers

Peter Ivers was a popular presenter and was widely known as the host of the television show New Wave Theater. However, in 1983 the presenter was found dead in a very condition and her body was found bludgeoned to death in Los Angeles. Some people say that he was murdered for robbery or something, but the real circumstances have not been revealed.

Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith

Another American actress whose death has remained a mystery as of now is Anna Nicole Smith, who is a popular actress and model. However, the television personality immediately died six months after the passing of her son in 2006 due to a drug overdose. It was revealed that she passed away due to extreme depression.

Ronni Chasen

Ronni Chasen

Ronni Chasen was an American publicist who represented actors like Michael Douglas and musicians like Hans Zimmer and Mark Isham. However, in 2010, the publicist was shot in Beverly Hills while she was returning home from the Hollywood premiere of the film Burlesque. It was not revealed who killed her and the cause of death remains a mystery.

Jill Dando

Jill Dando

Jill Dando, whose real name is Jill Wendy Dando, was an English journalist, television presenter, and newsreader. During her lifetime, she has spent her professional life working for BBC. However, in 1999, she was killed by a gunshot that was inflicted upon her after leaving the home of her fiancé. After some time, her death led an Operation Oxborough, the biggest murder inquiry that still remains unsolved.

Chris Trickle

Chris Trickle

Another celebrity’s death that has still remained unresolved is Chris Trickle who is a popular American stock car racing driver. However, in 1998, the NASCAR driver sustained injuries from a drive-by shooting and ultimately died in Las Vegas. The death remains mysterious as no suspects have ever been identified, and the case is considered cold.

Brian Spencer

Brian Spencer

The Canadian ice hockey player, Brian Spencer has played over ten seasons in the National Hockey League for the Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, and New York Islanders. In 1988, the athlete was shot during a robbery, after buying drugs from Riviera Beach in Florida. The case has been investigated thoroughly but it still remains unresolved.

Olof Palme

Olof Palme

The Prime Minister of Sweden and the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, Olof Palme was a very popular politician of his time. However, in 1986, the much-loved political person was shot dead while he was coming back to his home from a movie theatre. His death was examined but no person was suspected and arrested.

Mary Rogers

Mary Rogers

The murder victim whose story became a national sensation worldwide is Mary Rogers, who was also known as the Beautiful Cigar Girl. In 1841, the dead body of the girl was found in the Hudson River and nobody knows what happened to her. Her death remains a mystery as of now and no arrests have been made.

Christa Helm

Christa Helm

Another American artist whose death has remained a mystery is Christa Helm, who had small roles in Wonder Woman, Starsky and Hutch. The actress was popular for her Hollywood life such as mingling with celebrities like Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger, Joe Namath, and even the Shah of Iran. However, she was found stabbed and bludgeoned to death in a street at night in the year 1977 and nobody knows what actually transpired.

Jimmy Hoffa

Jimmy Hoffa

Jimmy Hoffa, whose real name was James Riddle Hoffa was the President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from 1957 until 1971 and was also the leader of the American labor union. His death in the year 1975 was ruled as one of the most mysterious deaths of all time because he was killed by mobsters while his car was parked in the parking lot. Also, his body was not found and the real cause of death remains a mystery.

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee was a famous Hong Kong-American martial artist and actor and was also the founder of Jeet Kune Do. In 1973, he took some medicines for headaches and after taking them he lapsed into a coma and never revived. The medical examiners revealed that he had several medical reactions to the medicine which caused his brain and increase in the cerebrospinal fluid which led to his death.

Princess Diana

Princess Diana

Princess Diana who was the Princess of Wales and a member of the British family died in 1997. She was the first wife of Charles III and mother of Princes William and Harry. Since her death, the question lingers around whether the reason for her demise was a car accident while running from aggressive paparazzi or did the Royal Family planned the accident in order to not let her marry Muslim billionaire Dodi Al-Fayed. The world still does not know the answer and her cause of death remains a mystery.

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse

Another celebrity who died from some unknown causes and the reasons surrounding her death remain a mystery is Amy Winehouse. She was a popular singer and songwriter who passed away at the very young age of 27. However, her cause of death was ruled as unknown but illegal drugs were ruled out. It has also been revealed that the singer battled with drug use for a very long time.

Big Pun

Big Pun

Big Pun, whose real name is Christopher Lee Rios is a widely recognized rapper who became famous with Fat Joe. He emerged as a popular rapper worldwide by starting from the underground hip-hop scene in the Bronx. However, the artist died due to a fatal heart attack at the young age of 28 because he was overweight and weighed 298 pounds. But some people think that there is more to his story and that his death has something more to tell.

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Megha Chauhan
Megha Chauhan
Megha Chauhan is an accomplished content writer who holds a degree in Law. Her extensive expertise in research and writing has helped her excel in this field. Her expertise spans from engaging blog posts and in-depth articles. Passionate about storytelling, Megha continually hones her skills to stay ahead of trends, ensuring her content remains fresh and impactful.
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