Many well known people have taken their lives in a bid to stop the numbness of depression from driving them insane. People who say there has to be other ways to deal with life, than committing suicide, simply do not understand how far depression can take root in a person’s heart and mind. Suicides are not uncommon, it is the 10th leading cause of death, but whenever a celebrity takes his or her life it causes grief to an overwhelming number of people who admired their work. No matter how baffling it is to others as to why someone massively successful would take their life, there is always a perfectly good reason for the one who takes such a drastic action, they reach a point of no return where they simply cannot go on anymore. This list talks of celebrities only and not the countless other well known people who took their lives.
10. Mary Kay Bergman
Mary Kay Bergman was an American voice-over artist. Several characters of “South Park”, the parrot on “Deep Blue Sea”, Daphne on “Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island” are only a few examples of where you might have heard her voice. It is very difficult to make a name as voice-over artist, but this funny lady did it. She hid the fact that she suffered from bipolar and general anxiety disorders. She was worried about losing her job as well. She eventually took her life by shooting herself on November 11th, 1999.
9. Chris Lighty
In 2006, Chris Lighty was hailed as the most influential talent manager by Forbes magazine. In the 1980s, Lighty had to forgo several scholarships to help out his family. He worked during the day and dabbled in a career in the new emerging hip-hop scene. He learned the craft of brand building and marketing at Def Jam Records. He may not be a famous face, but he was responsible for the discovery of famous musicians like Missy Elliot, P. Diddy and 50 Cent among many others. In August, 2012 he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Bronx home. A private investigation is ongoing to clarify whether this was a murder.
8. Marilyn Monroe
The first name that pops up when thinking of celebrity suicides has to be of Marilyn Monroe’s. She died at 36 on August 5th, 1962 by a barbiturates overdose. Several conspiracy theorists think that she was murdered because she became privy of some state secrets she was not supposed to know of. To this day she remains an American icon of style, beauty and glamour. Even though the first officer to arrive at the scene of death, Jack Clemmons believed she was murdered, no murder charges were filed ever.
Chris Benoit was an internationally known Canadian professional wrestler. He was considering dropping out of the WWE when he killed himself after murdering his wife and son over a three day period. His wife was bound and autopsy suggested his son was sedated before he strangled them. He had an enlarged heart, 3 times the size of a normal heart, which would have lead to his death in a year anyway. It is not exactly clear what drove him to commit this double murder and suicide, but post-mortem inspection of his brain had doctors deduce that due to persistent injuries Benoit’s brain was like that of an 85 year old Alzheimer’s patient.
Elliot Smith was nominated for an Oscar for his track “Miss Misery” from “The Goodwill Hunting”. He often talked about killing himself, he did lots of drugs and drinking while he was alive and hence, no one was very surprised that he committed suicide. He had firsthand experience in alcoholism, heroin addiction and depression, things he sang about. He had called his record producer, Larry Crane to finish his record a week prior to killing himself. On October 21st, 2003 he stabbed himself in his kitchen.
5. Jovan Belcher
An NFL league football linebacker, Jovan Belcher played for the Kansas City Chiefs. He had a 3 month old daughter with his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins. They frequently fought with each other and one such squabble lead to him shooting Perkins, not once, not twice, but 9 times, in front of his mother. Then he drove to the Chiefs’ practice facility, confessed to the general manager, Scott Pioli, thanked him and asked Pioli and his coach, Clark Hunt to look after his daughter before shooting himself.
4. Ian Curtis
Ian Kevin Curtis was the lead singer and song writer of post-punk band Joy Division. He was battling with epilepsy and having a hard time maintaining his marriage as well as his musical career. He kept blacking out due to epilepsy, one time he was found passed out on the studio bathroom floor after being missing for two hours. He was found hanging in his kitchen on 18th May, 1980. Earlier he had tried to chop himself up with a knife and then had an overdose. Most of his peers would neglect his condition due to ignorance as they spend exhaustive hours working on their music. He was found by his wife Deborah who claimed that Curtis had confided in her several times, that he had no will to live past his 20s.
3. Alexander McQueen
One of the most talented fashion couturiers, Lee Alexander McQueen shocked the world by committing suicide on February 11th, 2010. He was the creative director of Givenchy before he went on to launch his own eponymous label. He had also won the British Designer of the Year 4 times in his short lived but prolific career. He was deeply distressed and unhappy following his mother’s death and was doing drugs. He was found hanging in his home by his housekeeper 9 days after his mother passed away. It was later revealed that McQueen had also slit his wrists, he also had cocaine and sleeping pills in his system when he died.
2. Tony Scott
British film director and producer was the brother of Ridley Scott. They are both well known directors of our times. “Top Gun” directed by Tony Scott has entered into the annals of pop culture and film cult history. He was one of the executive producers of hit television drama, “The Good Wife”. In August 2012, Scott jumped of the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro port district of Los Angeles. This came as a shock to many. The family and police did not reveal the contents of the two notes he left behind to the public. His family set up a scholarship fund in his name at the American Film Institute and asked people to donate money instead of sending in flowers to encourage future generations of filmmakers.
1. Kurt Cobain
The lead singer Nirvana was found dead on April 8th, 1994 by an electrician in his Lake Washington home. This was not his first attempt at suicide. He had overdosed on champagne and rohypnol before this, but was released from the hospital 5 days later. He again locked himself in a room with a gun, but his wife Courtney Love called the police in time. The report stated high doses of heroin (enough to kill more than one person) and traces of diazepam in his blood. He was dead a few days before being discovered, presumably on 5th April. His suicide note was made public with the famous last words (which he was quoting from Neil Young’s 1979 song “My, My, Hey, Hey”) – “… remember, it’s better to burn out then to fade away.”