Photo by Oreos
By Stephanie Schieda
Music. Television. Movies. You name it, there is a young person who is taking over the business. Unfortunately, some of these young actors, actresses and musicians die before their careers fully take off. Though they all had bright futures, they are no longer here to fulfill those dreams.
Here are just a few celebrities whose lives and careers ended far too soon:
1. Corey Monteith, 31
The Canadian actor/musician had his big break in 2009 when he landed the role of Finn Hudson, a football player that changed his course to singing in the glee club in Fox’s “Glee.” Monteith struggled with addiction throughout his young life, according to public statements from family and friends. His life-long battle ultimately ended with his death on July 13, 2013 from a drug overdose.
2. Heath Ledger, 28
The Academy Award-winning actor was best known for his roles in “Brokeback Mountain” and “10 Things I Hate About You.” The filming for “Dark Knight” ended just a few weeks before his death, and resulted in a posthumous Oscar win. Ledger died from an accidental drug overdose in 2008, leaving behind his then two-year-old daughter, Matilda, whom he had with ex-girlfriend Michelle Williams.
3. Amy Winehouse, 27
The English beauty, known for her big hair and dramatic eyeliner, is remembered for her 2006 single “Rehab,” which was named the Best Song of 2007 by Time magazine and won Winehouse three Grammys. The soul singer-songwriter battled drug and alcohol addiction, though she was clean from drugs for three years at the time of her death, according to the book Mitch, the father of Winehouse, wrote. Winehouse died from alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011.
4. Brittany Murphy, 32
The actress and singer nabbed her first movie role in 1995’s “Clueless” as Tai Frasier. Murphy would go on to star and shine in movies throughout the 2000s, including “8 Mile,” “Sin City” and “Uptown Girls.” The actress died from pneumonia, drug use and anemia in 2009, according to the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office.
5. Aaliyah Dana Haughton, 22
The Brooklyn-born singer, dancer and model began her rise to fame on “Star Search” at age 10. However, it was her album “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number” that shook up the attention of the hip-hop world. Her marriage to R. Kelly, who was 27 at the time while she was 14, was annulled after one year because Vibe magazine published a copy of the marriage license, which listed her as 18-years-old. Haughton died in 2001 in a plane that crashed while returning to the United States. There were no survivors.
6. Notorious B.I.G., 24
Born Chris Wallace, the rapper dropped out of school at the age of 17. Though he had his fair share of criminal activity, Biggie Smalls spit rhymes that still influence hip-hop today. He was shot to death in 1997, and his murder still remains unsolved.
7. Kurt Cobain, 27
Lead singer of the band Nirvana, Cobain was a symbolic figure for teens that followed alternative rock, but frequently escaped through drugs and alcohol. The singer committed suicide and died from a gun shot wound in 1994.
8. Jim Morrison, 27
Lead singer and lyricist for the rock band The Doors, Morrison was born into a military family that moved around frequently. The lack of a stationary home shaped his views, as well as his music. In 1965, he joined The Doors, but turned to heroin after the release of six albums with the band. He died of a believed heroin overdose in 1971, but the lack of an official autopsy still leaves lingering questions surrounding his death.
9. Anna Nicole Smith, 39
Born Vickie Lynn Hogan, Smith was a model, actress and TV personality who gained fame after she was named Playboy’s Playmate of the Year in 1993. She also modeled for companies like Guess and H&M and had her own television show on E! Smith died from a drug overdose in 2007 almost six months after the death of her 20-year-old son, Daniel.
10. Sammi Kane Kraft, 20
The actress best known for her roles in “Bad News Bears” and “Today,” died in a car accident in October 2012. She was the passenger in a speeding car that rear-ended a large truck, as well as another vehicle, according to the Los Angeles Times.