We often think of Hollywood as a place with continuous pomp and circumstance, but the reality is that the lives of the rich and famous aren’t all that it’s cracked up to be. For many well-known personalities, being in the spotlight is accompanied by the lack of privacy and an immense pressure to be perfect.
For as long as we can remember, there have been countless celebrities who have had their lives cut short after crumbling under the stress of stardom.
While many die by suicide or drug overdose, not all celebrity causes of death are clear. Even when ruled an accident or suicide by authorities, the circumstances surrounding their deaths are shrouded in mystery. For instance, Marilyn Monroe’s tragic death is officially due to suicide by overdose, however many fans have reason to believe she was murdered due to her political connections.
Here are 5 more stars who made headlines for their work and their puzzling, premature deaths:
1. George Reeves
Best known for his role as the original Superman in The Adventures of Superman, Reeves was found dead in his Beverly Hills home on June 16,1959. Although it was ruled a suicide, the circumstances surrounding his death still remain a mystery since the actor was found naked with a single gunshot wound to his head. In the years after his passing, his mother hired a private investigator to look into the case. It is rumored that Reeves’ former lover, Toni Mannix, put a hit on the actor.
2. Jayne Mansfield
Unlike urban legends that claim Mansfield was decapitated, police reports reveal that the actress and model along with three other passengers instantly lost their lives in a devastating vehicular accident on June 29, 1967. But strangely enough, Mansfield’s children, including actress Mariska Hargitay, were asleep in the backseat and only suffered minor injuries. To this day, some fans of the 60s bombshell are convinced that there’s more than meets the eye when it came to the crash. Some argue that the driver of the 1966 Buick Electra was drunk while other conspiracy theorists believe that James Hoffa, an American labor union leader, ordered a contract on Mansfield’s life because her lawyer boyfriend owed him a large sum of money.
3. Natalie Wood
In November 1981, the Miracle on 34th Street actress met a tragic end while on a boating trip to Santa Catalina Island with her husband Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken. The night before her disappearance, Wood and Wagner got into an argument before heading to bed but moments later, when he attempted to say goodnight, Wagner noticed Wood was missing. Wood’s body was later found afloat in the sea off the Island and officials ruled her death as accidental drowning. However, many questions about that fateful night remain unanswered which prompted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to reopen the case nearly 30 years after her death.
4. Gram Parsons
To this day, musician Gram Parsons’ death remains baffling. It is claimed that he died from an overdose on September 18. 1973, but it’s the series of events following his death that left people scratching their heads. Parsons’ father attempted to move his deceased son’s body against Parsons’ pre-mortem wishes so he could benefit from his estate. In the midst of that scandal, Parsons’ body went missing, but this time it was stolen by a friend. This supposed pal along with the singer’s road manager Phil Kaufman took the body to Joshua Tree Motel where they planned to cremate it. Since stealing a body was not considered a criminal act at the time, the pair were only given a $75 fine.
Do you remember these Hollywood stars? Share your thoughts in the comments!