Live Poll: Most Shocking Death of an Actor

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Any death can be shocking, and they are all sad. But sometimes a death is so surprising, either due to the the manner of death, the age of the deceased or other circumstances that it can be considered shocking. Which of these actors' deaths most shocked you?

List: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls068779370
Poll: http://www.imdb.com/poll/v_Hjd-e80u0/
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Jen, Champion

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Posted 2 years ago

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Jessica, Champion

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From your list, I would say Anton Yelchin.

FYC:
Robin Williams
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rocky-o

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when i read the question, i knew immediately who my answer was...tommy bolin...

i remember coming home from a gig and turning on the radio only to hear the d.j. reading the lyrics to one of his songs...then, at the end, mentioning his passing...

to this day, that was the most powerful, and, to use your phrase, shocking...

i didn't think i would see tommy on this list, but the next two that came to mind i thought i would...karen carpenter and  andy gibb...

both have stories of their own with me...the shortened versions...karen i heard on a radio in a store in new york...for andy, i was on the air in new york when he passed and i had to make the radio announcement...(ironic)...

surprised neither of these were on the list either...all three powerful pronouncements for me...

would love to see them added...and glad to see phil hartman on your list as well...
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Dibyayan Chakravorty, Champion

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FYC:

Paul Walker - Car accident, aged 40
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leavey-2

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Without any doubt: John Lennon
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dgranger

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Allot of them are accidents that you really can't stop or prevent. Death cases by addiction or engaging in dangerous activity are another matter. That is courting death. Then their is suicide. But what goes straight to the top is murder: Hartman, Lennon, Tate, Shelly, Selena, Schaeffer, and Monroe (yeah, I don't believe it was an accident ether).
You might want to consider Princess Di, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, Micheal Jackson, and Keith Moon.
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rocky-o

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good on ya'...monroe definitely wasn't an 'accident'...
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Dimos Dicoudis

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In Monroe's case, the most likely cause was suicide. :"the toxicological analysis concluded that the cause of death was acute barbiturate poisoning, as she had 8 mg% of chloral hydrate and 4.5 mg% of pentobarbital (Nembutal) in her blood, and a further 13 mg% of pentobarbital in her liver. Empty bottles of these medicines were found next to her bed by the police."

People don't accidentally ingest bottles-worth of barbiturates. They do it in suicide attempts.

The events preceeding her death seem to explain the circumstances.:
*For several years, Monroe was abusing amphetamines, barbiturates and alcohol, possibly as a way to self-medicate her mental health problems. She was struggling with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and chronic insomnia.
*Monroe had required a reputation for being unreliable at work, arriving late for shootings, and having trouble memorizing her lines. She lost a number of promising roles, as the studios gave the roles to more "reliable" actresses, such as Audrey Hepburn.
*Monroe's last two films "Let's Make Love" (1960) and "The Misfits" (1961) were flops, and her career was declining. At the time of her death, she had not completed any film for about two years. 
*Monroe's divorce from third husband Arthur Miller was finalized early in 1961. She spend part of the year hospitalized for a number of medical problems.
*In 1962, Monroe was hired by studio 20th Century Fox to play the female lead in a film called "Something's Got to Give" (never finished). Monroe kept delaying the filming for months, both to tend to her continuous medical problems and to spend time with her acquaintances. The studio fired her in June, 1962 for breach of contract, sued her, and demanded 750,000 dollars from Monroe as payment for damages. 
*On August 4, 1962, Dr. Ralph Greenson (Monroe's psychiatrist), last examined his patient. He was worried about her and asked Eunice Murray (Monroe's housekeeper) to remain at her employer's house at night and keep an eye on her.
*On the same day, at 8 p.m., Monroe spoke on the phone with her friend, actor Peter Lawford. Lawford became worried, because Monroe sounded to him as under the influence of drugs and kept asking him to tell "goodbye" from her to a number of their acquaintances. Lawford tried to alert Monroe's associates, but Murray reassured them that Monroe was fine.
*On August 5, 1962, at 3 a.m., Murray decided to check on Monroe and found Monroe's door locked. She alerted Greenson, who arrived at the house. Greenson broke into Monroe's room and discovered her corpse. 

A minor curiosity, Monroe was survived by her mother Gladys Pearl Baker (1902-1984) and her maternal half-sister Berniece Baker Miracle. But her body was claimed and her funeral was arranged by her former husband Joe DiMaggio. DiMaggio also reputedly took care of maintaining Monroe's grave at least until the 1980s. I am not certain why DiMaggio acted as Monroe's closest living relative, while they were divorced for years. 
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Jen, Champion

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Maybe the mom and sister couldn't afford it? After her death DiMaggio had flowers put at her grave every week for 20+ years.
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Jen, Champion

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I think I will change it to just actors, since there are so many musicians that fit in.

If any admins see this, please change the title to actor, from celebrity.

Paul Walker wasn't at all shocking to me, but I guess it was to others so I'll add him.

I *do* want to keep (and add more) older ones.

While people living now would not remember the older ones, they could still be shocked when learning about the conditions under which someone died.
(Edited)
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rocky-o

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would truman capote count as an 'actor'....although mostly known as an author, he did do some acting in his day...and his death was unusual to say the least...
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rocky-o

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just thought of another one...george reeves, tv's superman...

that one shocked alot of people...including myself...
(Edited)
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Dimos Dicoudis

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In George Reeves' case, shot in the head, found dead in his own bed, with the weapon being a .30 caliber Luger pistol. The likely cause of death was a suicide.

Reeves'  fiancée Leonore Lemmon claimed that Reeves was depressed lately over the decline of his career, his inability to get decent roles, and (probably) money problems.

Still the circumstances of his death are a bit surprising. He was reportedly alone in his bedroom  between 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. and in a reportedly bad mood. Meanwhile, Lemmon was downstairs in his house, holding a party with a group of drunken friends. These placed several people in proximity to the bedroom at the time of his death. But honestly: there is a party at your own residence, and you are the only one not attending it?

Helen Lescher (Reeves' mother) did not believe the suicide story and insisted that her son's death was a homicide. There is a long-standing conspiracy theory that Reeves was killed by orders of Eddie Mannix, a studio executive at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Reeves' was allegedly sleeping with Mannix's wife for several years, but broke up with her in 1959 and left her broken-hearted. Mannix supposedly wanted to avenge his wife. Mannix died of a heart attack in 1963, four years following Reeves. 
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ElMo

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If it was up to me, I would have put Sharon Tate right on the top, you can't make worse than a young and beautiful pregnant mother being stabbed to death, not to mention that she begged her killer to spare her baby and the last thing she heard is too heartbreaking to be written.

Others suggestions:
- Vic Morrow (decapitated by a helicopter blade during the shooting of the Twilight Zone movie, two children died at that freak accident)
- Judith Barsi (assassinated at 10 by her own father)
- Bob Crane
- Chris Farley
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dgranger

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I second the Vic Marrow and those children's deaths. His death was a hero's death. What is shocking was that so many of Hollywood's own regulations on safety and child labor were violated!
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Dimos Dicoudis

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The child actors were Myca Dinh Le (7 years old) and Renee Shin-Yi Chen (6 years old). They were hired by director John Landis, in violation of California's child labor laws and without the required permits. 

Few people were aware that the kids would play in a dangerous scene involving helicopters and real explosives: "Le and Chen were being paid under the table to circumvent California's child labor laws, which did not permit children to work at night. Landis opted not to seek a special waiver, either because he did not think he would get permission for such a late hour or because he knew he would never get approval to have young children as part of a scene with a large number of explosives. The casting agents were unaware that the children would be involved in the scene. Associate producer George Folsey, Jr told the children's parents not to tell any firefighters on set that the children were part of the scene, and also hid them from a fire safety officer who also worked as a welfare worker." 

During the shooting of the scene, the helicopter spun out of control when hit by a mortar effect. The helicopter fell on top of the three actors. Morrow and Le were both decapitated and mutilated by the helicopters main rotor blades. Chen was crushed to death by the helicopter's landing skid. 

Landis and several of his associates were placed on trial for manslaughter due to the accident. They were acquitted of the charges in a 9-month-trial in 1986 and 1987. It was reportedly the first time in the history of Hollywood that a film director faced charges due to a fatality on set. 

The 1982 accident led to new safety regulations by the Federal Aviation Administration, the studio Warner Bros., and the Directors Guild of America. Between 1982 and 1986, accidents during filming were reduced by an estimated 69.6%. There were only 6 other fatalities on Hollywood film sets between 1982 and 1986. 

Landis continued working regularly as a film director, but complained in 1996 that the accident negatively affected his career and reputation. Fellow director Steven Spielberg (the film's co-producer and an old friend of Landis) blamed Landis for the accident, broke up their friendship, and refused to work with him. Spielberg is quoted by a biographer as saying: "No movie is worth dying for. "
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Someone who Wears Pants

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I expect Heath Ledger and James Dean to be 1-2 in this poll.

What about Graham Chapman succumbing to throat cancer at age 48?
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Jen, Champion

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I'm on my phone and will update this list when I am in the computer. In the meantime, could an admin PLEASE change the title and intro to match the info in the list? Thank you!
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Jen, Champion

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I've updated the list to reflect the suggestions I wanted to add.
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Hyker

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Robin Williams
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Jessica, Champion

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 Typo:
...either due to the the manner of death...
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Jen, Champion

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Thanks.
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dgranger

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Jen, JFF and it is rather a timely post for Holloween, Jen, have you ever watched a show called "Ghost Adventures"? Well, the paranormal ghost hunting team have of an episode where they investigate the LA night club "The Viper Room" and someone on your list makes an appearance there.
(Edited)
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dgranger

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Have two suggestions:
George Sanders and Judy Garland.
George Sanders, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg...
"Sanders suffered from dementia, worsened by waning health, and visibly teetered in his last films, owing to a loss of balance. According to Aherne's biography, he also had a minor stroke. Sanders could not bear the prospect of losing his health or needing help to carry out everyday tasks, and became deeply depressed. At about this time he found that he could no longer play his grand piano, so he dragged it outside and smashed it with an axe. His last girlfriend persuaded him to sell his beloved house in Majorca, Spain, which he later bitterly regretted. From then on he drifted.[21]

On 23 April 1972, Sanders checked into a hotel in Castelldefels, a coastal town near Barcelona. He was found dead two days later, having gone into cardiac arrest after swallowing the contents of five bottles of the barbiturate Nembutal.[22][23] He left behind three suicide notes, one of which read:

Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck.[24][25][26]

[27]

His signature appeared under the message.

Sanders's body was returned to Britain for funeral services, after which it was cremated and the ashes were scattered in the English Channel.

David Niven wrote in Bring on the Empty Horses (1975), the second volume of his memoirs, that in 1937 his friend George Sanders had predicted that he would commit suicide from a barbiturate overdose when he was 65, and that in his 50s he had appeared to be depressed since his marriages had failed and several tragedies had befallen him.[28]"

Judy Garland:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_...
Despite profound professional success, Garland struggled largely in her personal life from an early age. The pressures of stardom affected her physical and mental health from the time she was a teenager; her self-image was influenced and constantly criticized by film executives who believed her to be physically unattractive, and who manipulated her onscreen physical appearance.[4] She was plagued by alcohol and substance abuse as well as financial instability into her adulthood, often owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes. Her lifelong struggle with drugs and alcohol ultimately led to her death in England from a barbiturate overdose, at the age of 47.
...
On June 22, 1969, Deans found Garland dead in the bathroom of their rented mews house in Chelsea, London; she was 47 years old. At the inquest, Coroner Gavin Thurston stated that the cause of death was "an incautious self-overdosage" of barbiturates; her blood contained the equivalent of 10 1.5-grain (97 mg) Seconal capsules.[120] Thurston stressed that the overdose had been unintentional and that no evidence suggested she had committed suicide. Garland's autopsy showed no inflammation of her stomach lining and no drug residue in her stomach, which indicated that the drug had been ingested over a long period of time, rather than in one dose. Her death certificate stated that her death had been "accidental".[121] Supporting the accidental cause, her doctor noted that a prescription of 25 barbiturate pills was found by her bedside half-empty and another bottle of 100 was still unopened.[122]

A British specialist who had attended her autopsy said she had nevertheless been living on borrowed time owing to cirrhosis, although a later autopsy showed no evidence of alcoholism or cirrhosis.[123][124] She died twelve days after her forty-seventh birthday. Her Wizard of Oz co-star Ray Bolger commented at her funeral, "She just plain wore out."[125] Forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Hunter believes that Garland had an eating disorder which contributed to her death.[126]
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Jen, Champion

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These stories are interesting, but I don't think they were surprising on the level of James Dean or Steve Irwin.
(Edited)
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Hoekkie

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FYC:
Bruce Lee
Dorothy Stratten
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dgranger

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Whitney Houston and Micheal Jackson. They both acted. There is a question of 2nd degree murder in Micheal Jackson's case.
(Edited)
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Jen, Champion

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Let me think about these suggestions.
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Hoekkie

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FYC: Philip Seymour Hoffman
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Kirk-Picard

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Paul Walker
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Jen, Champion

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I've updated the list to include the suggestions I felt were warranted.
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Jen, Champion

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It's live!

http://www.imdb.com/poll/v_Hjd-e80u0

I was torn between River Phoenix and Phil Hartman. I picked Hartman 'cause I figure River will get more votes. I remember the minute I heard about it. Such deaths were far less common 20 years ago than they are now. It was totally shocking.
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Dimos Dicoudis

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Out of curiosity, why not Natalie Wood (1938-1981)? Drowned at sea under unclear circumstances. The police and the press have kept investigating her case over the years, with most theories implicating Robert Wagner (Wood's widower) and their friend Christopher Walken, who were both with her in in the last day of her life. 
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Jen, Champion

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I am adding her.
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Natalie Wood is now part of the poll.

Jen, you may find this book interesting.
They Went That-A-Way: How the Famous, the Infamous, and the Great Died Paperback – October 14, 1989
by Malcolm Forbes (Author)
https://www.amazon.com/They-Went-That-Way-Infamous/dp/0345362500
https://www.worldcat.org/title/they-went-that-a-way/oclc/20801415
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Jen, Champion

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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Congratulations yrnej on your 497th live poll!
As of 16-Nov-2017 12:48 AM Pacific your polls have 675,866 or more votes, for an average of 1,360 votes per poll.

5862th Live Poll: http://www.imdb.com/poll/v_Hjd-e80u0/

This is the 750th People poll. Such polls have a total of 1,414,486 votes for an average of 1,886 votes per poll.

- - -
Total Number of Votes			13,833,242
Projected Date of 15 Million Votes 18-May-2018
Days Until 15 Million Votes 184
- - -

This is the list of yrnej's polls as of 3-Nov-2017:

Sorted Alphabetically
http://mypollwatch.blogspot.com/2014/05/imdb-polls-alphabetical-by-author.html#yrnej

In Decreasing Order of Votes
http://mypollwatch.blogspot.com/2015/03/imdb-polls-descending-order-of-votes-by.html#yrnej

- - -

Alphabetical List of Polls
http://mypollwatch.blogspot.com/2014/03/imdb-polls-alphabetical.html

Top IMDb Polls
http://mypollwatch.blogspot.com/2015/07/top-imdb-polls.html

IMDb Polls - Descending Order of Votes
http://mypollwatch.blogspot.com/2013/12/imdb-polls-descending-order-of-votes.html

Summary Statistics
http://mypollwatch.blogspot.com/2016/05/summary-statistics.html

Key Threads - IMDb Poll FAQs Index
https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/faq-key-threads-imdb-poll-faqs-index

How to Improve the Chance of Having your Poll on the Home Page
https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/faq-how-to-improve-the-chance-of-having-your-poll-on-the-hom...
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Arnold Winterbottom

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What about Gail Russell?
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Hi Arnold Winterbottom,

I was unfamiliar with the tragic death of Gail Russell.

Gail Russell Biography
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0751149/bio
In 1961, at the age of 36, she died alone in her apartment of chronic alcoholism, an extremely fatty liver and terminal aspiration of stomach contents all while surrounded by empty liquor bottles. She will be remembered, however, as an incredible doe-eyed beauty who presented a screen image of great innocence and vulnerability.

It's really up to the author of this poll whether she would like to update her poll add Gail Russell.
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Jen, Champion

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Just saw this. Adding her.
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DIGGER

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Celebrity deaths keep getting shocking every single day.  It's like an assembly line or a treadmill or something like that.  It just doesn't seem to stop.  And what's worst is, sometimes you don't even hear about it until some time later after their actual deaths, because they don't usually announce it right away,  on account of the decedents' love ones and their P.R. and legal teams are more concerned about keeping their privacy and all that stuff.