Before we ring in 2020, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at the most notable big-name stars we lost over the past decade… starting with the one and only Prince, who died of an opioid overdose in April 2016. The superstar and seven-time Grammy winner, who rose to fame in the late ’70s and early ’80s, was 57.
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In August 2014, the world learned that beloved actor and comedy star Robin Williams had taken his own life at 63. It was later revealed that Robin, whom doctors initially thought had Parkinson’s disease, was actually suffering from Lewy body dementia, a brutal progressive brain disorder.
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Grammy winner Amy Winehouse tragically passed away at 27 in July 2011. The powerhouse British singer famously struggled with drug and alcohol addition for years and ultimately died from alcohol poisoning.
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An icon died in January 2016 when David Bowie passed away two days after his 69th birthday. The legendary British rock star died in his New York City apartment after a private 18-month battle with liver cancer.
The world was shocked when “The Fast and the Furious” franchise star Paul Walker tragically died in a high-speed car accident in November 2013. The father of one was only 40 when the Porsche in which he was a passenger crashed into a light post and tree and burst into flames.
Whitney Houston was gone too soon, passing away at just 48 in February 2012. The superstar, who rose to fame in the ’80s, was found unresponsive in the bathtub of her room at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills less than 24 hours before the Grammys. Her death was caused by drowning, the effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.
Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell died by suicide in May 2017. The 52-year-old rocker took his own life in his hotel bathroom after performing with his band in Detroit.
“Glee” star Cory Monteith was just 31 when he was found dead in his hotel room in Vancouver, Canada. An autopsy showed that the recovering addict died from mixed drug toxicity involving heroin and alcohol and that it appeared to be accidental.
Celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain committed suicide in June 2018 in his hotel in France, where he was filming his show “Parts Unknown.” The CNN host was 61.
Following a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, legendary “Star Trek” actor Leonard Nimoy died in February 2015. He was 83.
“The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” actress Mary Tyler Moore died at 80 in January 2017 from cardiopulmonary arrest complicated by pneumonia.
The woman the world knew as Rhoda Morgenstern, Valerie Harper, passed away in August 2019. The actress, who starred on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and the spinoff “Rhoda,” had been battling lung and brain cancer. She was 80.
“Riverdale” star Luke Perry, who found fame as heartthrob Dylan McKay on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” died in March 2019 following a massive stroke.
In December 2016, Carrie Fisher fell unconscious on a flight from London to Los Angeles and died four days later at an L.A. hospital. The coroner attributed the writer and “Star Wars” actress’s passing to sleep apnea and a combination of other, undetermined causes while also revealing that she had several illicit drugs in her system when she died. In the wake of her passing, Carrie’s daughter, actress Billie Lourd, said that her mom had “battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life” and “ultimately died of it.” Carrie was 60.
Carrie Fisher’s Oscar-nominated mother, “Singin’ in the Rain” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” actress Debbie Reynolds, died one day after her beloved daughter in December 2016 after suffering what son Todd Fisher called a “severe stroke” as she struggled with overwhelming grief. According to Todd, shortly before she died, the “Tammy” singer had said, “I want to be with Carrie.”
We lost one of the most iconic actresses of our time in 2011. Elizabeth Taylor passed away that March at 79 of congestive heart failure, leaving behind a legacy of films including “National Velvet,” “Cleopatra” and “Suddenly, Last Summer,” a legacy of philanthropy as one of the first and most notable stars ever to raise money to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS, and a legacy of notable ex-husbands including Richard Burton, Mike Fisher and Conrad Hilton Jr.
“Aliens,” “Weird Science” and “Big Love” actor Bill Paxton unexpectedly died in February 2017 after experiencing an aortic aneurysm that lead to a deadly stroke after he underwent a heart valve replacement and aortic aneurysm repair surgery. He was 61.
Old Hollywood star Lauren Bacall died at age 89 in August 2014. The actress, who rose to fame starring in films like “Designing Women” with Gregory Peck and “How to Marry a Millionaire” with Marilyn Monroe, suffered a stroke.
Tom Petty passed away in October 2017. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee beloved for hits like “Free Fallin’,” “American Girl’ and “Won’t Back Down,” died from an accidental drug overdose of prescribed medications he was taking to treat emphysema, knee issues and a fractured hip.
Alan Thicke passed away in December 2016 after suffering a ruptured aorta while playing hockey with his youngest son. The actor, whose most well-known and beloved role was as Dr. Mike Seaver on the ’80s sitcom “Growing Pains,” was 69.
Anton Yelchin, the actor best known for his work in the “Star Trek” franchise and “Alpha Dog,” died in a freak accident at his Los Angeles home in June 2016 when his car rolled down his driveway and pinned him against a brick mailbox pillar and a security fence. He was only 27.
Beloved funnywoman Joan Rivers died in September 2014 after experiencing complications while undergoing a minor throat procedure at a medical clinic. She had to be put in a medically induced coma and died a week later in a New York City hospital. The comedian and iconic fashion critic was 81.
TV and film star Burt Reynolds died of a heart attack in September 2018. The “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Boogie Nights” actor was 82.
Wham! star and wildly successful solo artist George Michael was found dead in his bed in his home in Oxfordshire, England, on Christmas Day 2016. Authorities later revealed that the “Careless Whisper” and “Faith” singer, 53, died of natural causes related to heart disease and a fatty liver.
Rapper Mac Miller was just 26 when he died in September 2018 from an accidental drug overdose.
Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died at 76 in August 2018. The iconic musician passed away at her home in Detroit following a long battle with a pancreatic tumor.
“The Sopranos” star James Gandolfini died after suffering a heart attack in June 2013 while vacationing in Rome. The 51-year-old actor had been traveling with his family at the time.
Casey Kasem, the famed radio DJ and host of “America’s Top 40” who also voiced Shaggy in the “Scooby-Doo” cartoons, passed away at 82 in June 2014. Though he technically died of sepsis caused by an ulcerated bedsore, his health had been in heartbreaking decline as he suffered from Lewy body dementia at the end of his life.
Grammy-winning singer Natalie Cole, who underwent a kidney transplant in 2009 and battled hepatitis C, died in December 2015 from heart failure brought on by idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare lung disease. She was 65.
Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman died of a heroin overdose in February 2014. The actor had been struggling with addiction and was just 46 when he passed.
Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington committed suicide in his California home in July 2017. He was 41.
“Descendants” star Cameron Boyce was just 20 when he unexpectedly passed away in June 2019. The young Disney actor, who had epilepsy, died in his sleep after suffering a seizure.
Hollywood triple threat Penny Marshall — who worked as an actress, director and producer — passed away in December 2018. The “Laverne & Shirley” star was 75 when she died of heart failure.
“American Bandstand” star Dick Clark, everyone’s favorite “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” countdown host, died at 82 in April 2012 after suffering a heart attack years after a 2004 stroke left him unable to speak clearly.
Former teen idol Corey Haim died at 38 in March 2010. The troubled actor, who rose to fame in films like “The Lost Boys,” had struggled with drug addiction but ultimately died from pneumonia.
Beastie Boys co-founder Adam Yauch passed away in March 2012. The musician, best known as MCA, was 47 and had been suffering from a tumor in his salivary gland.
Grammy-winning blues legend B.B. King was 89 when he died in May 2015 from a series of small strokes related to a long battle with type 2 diabetes.
Country music singer Mindy McCready died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in February 2013 on the front porch of her home — the same place her former boyfriend, the father of one of her sons — had committed suicide a month earlier. She was 37.
Michael Clarke Duncan, the gentle giant of an actor who came to fame in “The Green Mile,” died from respiratory failure in a Los Angeles hospital in September 2012 almost two months after he suffered a heart attack from which he never recovered. He was 54.
Disco diva Donna Summer died in May 2012. The singer, 63, passed away at her home in Florida after struggling with lung cancer.
Legendary actor Dennis Hopper was battling prostate cancer before his death. The actor known for films like “Apocalypse Now,” “Hoosiers” and “Blue Velvet” passed away in May 2010, 12 days before his 74th birthday.
Television actor Andy Griffith, beloved for his performances as the sheriff of Mayberry on “The Andy Griffith Show” in the 1960s and as the titular criminal defense attorney on “Matlock” in the 1980s and ’90s (pictured), died from a heart attack in July 2012 in North Carolina. He was 86.
Gary Coleman died at 42 in May 2010. He had been suffering from seizures and had been admitted to the hospital after falling down the stairs at his home in Utah. He was best known for his role on “Diff’rent Strokes.”
Florence Henderson, best known for her iconic role as Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch,” died of heart failure in November 2016. She was 82 years old.
Canadian comedy star Leslie Nielsen died in November 2010 after being admitted to a hospital near his Florida home with pneumonia. He was best known for his work on the TV show “Police Squad!” and in the “Naked Gun” film series.
Scott Weiland, the former frontman of the Stone Temple Pilots, was found dead on his tour bus in December 2015. The 48-year-old rocker was on the road with a group called the Wildabouts at the time. His death was ruled an accidental drug overdose.
Pioneering actress, singer, dancer and civil rights activist Lena Horne — the first African American performer to be put under contract by a major studio — died from congestive heart failure in New York City in May 2010. She was 92.
1970s teen idol David Cassidy passed away in November 2017 at 67. The former “The Partridge Family” star and musician was battling liver disease. He ultimately succumbed to liver failure.
“Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Young Frankenstein” star Gene Wilder died at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease in August 2016. The comedy legend was 83.
“Playboy” founder Hugh Hefner passed away in September 2017 at his home in Los Angeles. He was buried in a crypt next to Marilyn Monroe. He was 91.
Rock ‘n’ roll music pioneer Chuck Berry died of natural causes at his home near St. Louis in March 2017. He was 90.
“Happy Days” star Erin Moran, who famously played Joanie on the show and the spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi,” died in April 2017 from throat cancer. She was 56.
The man best known as Mr. Cunningham, “Happy Days” star Tom Bosley, passed away in October 2010 at a hospital near his home in Rancho Mirage, California. The 83-year-old actor had been battling lung cancer.
Rapper Nate Dogg passed away at 41 in March 2011. The music artist, who was a frequent collaborator with fellow rap greats Dr. Dre, Eminem and Tupac Shakur, died after suffering a stroke.
Beloved movie villain Alan Rickman, who played Hogwarts professor Severus Snape in the “Harry Potter” film franchise, died from pancreatic cancer in January 2016. He was 69.
English actor Roger Moore — who was best known for playing secret agent 007 in seven James Bond films — died in May 2017 following a brief cancer battle. He was 89.
Beloved Mouseketeer Annette Funicello died in April 2013 from complications of multiple sclerosis. She was 70.
Swedish DJ and electronic artist Avicii (real name: Tim Bergling) died from suicide at 28 in April 2018. The music star was in Muscat, Oman, at the time of his death.
Legendary comedian Don Rickles died of kidney failure at 90 at his Los Angeles home in April 2017.
Legendary crooner Etta James passed away in January 2012 following a battle with leukemia. The Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee was 73.
“Some Like It Hot,” “Spartacus” and “Sweet Smell of Success” actor Tony Curtis — who was also the father of actresses Kelly and Jamie Lee Curtis with the first of his six wives, actress Janet Leigh — died after suffering a cardiac arrest at his home in Henderson, Nevada, in September 2019. He was 85.
Pioneering stand-up comedian Phyllis Diller died from natural causes at her Los Angeles home in August 2012. She was 95.
At the age of 86, actor James Garner passed away after suffering a heart attack. The actor was best known for his role on the Western TV series “Maverick,” though he also starred in over 50 films including “The Notebook” later in his life.
Sherman Hemsley, who famously played George Jefferson on “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” in the 1970s and ’80s, died at 74 at his home in El Paso, Texas, from complications of lung cancer in July 2012.
“Lawrence of Arabia” star Peter O’Toole — an eight-time best actor Academy Award nominee who received an honorary Oscar in 2003 — died at 81 in December 2013. He’d survived stomach cancer in the 1970s but passed away in a London hospital following an undisclosed long illness.
Famed child actress Shirley Temple Black — who was at one time the most famous child star in Hollywood history and went on to become a diplomat — died at her home in Woodside, California, in February 2014 from pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She was 85.