Our society is gripped by high-profile deaths, especially when the person in question was a figure in pop culture. Fans and onlookers are filled with grief while also sending love to the family and friends of the figure. Sadly, as details come about these deaths, some times it is revealed that the death was caused by another, leading to even more grief and typically months or years of media coverage. Today, we'll be listing off several of these cases, specifically ones tied to beloved actors.
Among these victims are a Saturday Night Live funnyman, a renowned rapper-turned-actor, a young actress who was caught up in one of the world's most notorious slayings, an actress whose death was originally ruled suicide before further investigation and a gifted child star who had her life cut short at the age 10 by her own father. Scroll through learn about these stars and their tragic demises.
Saturday Night Live and Simpsons cast member Phil Hartman brought laughter into million of homes over the years, but his life was tragically cut short on May 28, 1998.
Hartman had gotten into an argument with his wife Brynn Omdahl Hartman the night before. He told her if she started abusing drugs again, he would leave her. Brynn then became intoxicated, got high on cocaine and shot Phil three times in his sleep. She died by suicide later that day.prevnext
The murder of Valley of the Dolls actress Sharon Tate is tied up in one of America's most nefarious crimes, the Manson Family Murders.
Charles Manson ordered four of his followers to go to the home of Tate and her husband Roman Polanski and murder everyone present. Polanski was not there, but Tate, who was pregnant, and four others were. All were killed by the cult members, with the 26-year-old actress being stabbed 16 times. Manson and three of the followers involved were given the death sentence, which was later commuted to life in prison.prevnext
While Tupac Shakur is best known for his music, he also starred in some of the most beloved films of the '90s such as Poetic Justice, Juice and Above the Rim.
Shakur's murder has gone down as one of the most notorious celebrity slayings of all time. After attending a Mike Tyson fight in Las Vegas, the vehicle he and Suge Knight were riding in were met with a hail of bullets from a white Cadillac. Shakur was struck four times, and later died at the hospital on Sept. 13, 1996. The murderers were never found, but conspiracies about the death have ran rampant in the two decades since.prevnext
Carl Switzer was a beloved child actor thanks to his role as Alfalfa in The Little Rascals shorts. Unfortunately, his life took a tragic turn when he became an adult.
The Our Gang star was killed on January 21, 1959, after a scuffle resulting from a monetary dispute. The culprit, Moses Stiltz, was never convicted because it was claimed that Switzer pulled out a knife, making the killing self-defense. This account has been called into question after a new witness came forward, but no action was ever taken.prevnext
While Judith Barsi is far from a household name, her murder is the most tragic on this list. Barsi was a childhood actor best known as the voice of Ducky in The Land Before Time and Anne-Marie in All Dogs Go to Heaven. Sadly, both of those films were released posthumously.
After years of abuse, Barsi was tragically murdered at the age of 10 by her father, József Barsi. On July 25, 1988, he shot her while she slept and murdered her mother, Maria Barsi. He then burned their bodies before taking his own life two days later.prevnext
On that evening Lennon, who starred in multiple Beatles-led films, and his wife Yoko Ono returned to their Manhattan apartment at around 10:50 p.m. after spending an evening at the Record Plant recording studio. A lone gunman, Mark David Chapman, shot Lennon four times in the back at close range as he walked through the archway of the Dakota Apartments. Chapman was sentenced 20 years to life for the murder and has been denied parole ten times since he became eligible in 2000.prevnext
The "Prince of Motown" Marvin Gaye, who starred in The Ballad of Andy Crocker and Chrome and Hot Leather, was shot in his bedroom by his father, Marvin Gaye Sr., on April 1, 1984.
According to Gaye's mother Alberta, an argument had broken out between her and Gaye Sr. over a misplaced insurance policy letter. The singer attempted to end the argument, but it resulted in the father and son getting into a fight. Minutes after the two were separated, Gaye Sr. returned and shot his son with a .38 pistol, with the bullet hitting Gaye's heart. Gaye Sr. was originally charged with first-degree murder, but the charges were dropped down to voluntary manslaughter after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.prevnext
Adrienne Shelly was an actress, film, director and screenwriter who starred, wrote and directed in the 2007 award-winning film Waitress. Shelly unfortunately never got to see her film's release, as she was murdered on Nov. 1, 2006.
Shelly's death was originally ruled as a suicide when her husband discovered her body hanging in a bathtub with a bed sheet wrapped around her neck. However further investigation revealed the staged hanging was not the cause of death, and that she had been killed by construction worker Diego Pillco, who had been working inside her building that day. Pillco was sentenced to first-degree manslaughter and was sentenced 25 years in prison without parole.prevnext
Selena Quintanilla-Perez was a singer, songwriter, spokesperson, model, actress and fashion designer all by the time she turned 23. But her life was cut short at that young age on March 31, 1995, when she was shot and killed by friend and former Selena Etc. boutiques manager Yolanda Saldivar.
By 2015, Selena had sold more than 65 million albums worldwide, making her the best-selling female artist in the history of Latin American music.prev