15 Celebrity Deaths That Punched People in The Gut

It's never easy losing someone you love. Many people feel close to celebrities who've influenced their lives and feel sincere grief when they pass. An online discussion asks “Which famous person's death made you the saddest?” There were the top-voted answers.

15. Betty White

Betty White
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

“Yes. I was walking around the store listening to everyone find out. All of us strangers were completely heartbroken. She was gone less than a month away from her 100th birthday,” a user said.

Another stated, “There's something hilarious about her passing just before her birthday. But AFTER they did all the production work on the numerous media birthday celebrations, she died on New Year's Eve. She was ensuring that no one in the world will ever receive more toasts in their honor upon their death.”

14. Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek
Image Credit: Team Coco

“My wife got the call about when her episode of Jeopardy was going to air the same day he died. What a gut punch for her on one of the happiest days of her life,” one user confessed. “When Alex Trebek died, it felt like losing a relative. He was in our home every weeknight, and his on-screen personality made you feel like you'd been friends with him for years,” a second person commented.

13. Chester Bennington

Chester Bennington
Image Credit: Lionsgate

“Chester Bennington, Linkin Park's vocalist, death hit hard on a generation of kids who felt they couldn't have made it without his music. It was the ultimate expression of our angst and frustration with the world built around us. We filtered the optics of our lives through his words, and suddenly it wasn't so bad,” someone shared.

Another added, “Losing him and Chris Cornell the same summer messed me up. And Chester killed himself on Chris' birthday. We'll never know the true significance of that, but we know Chester was completely broken after losing Chris.”

12. Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell
Image Credit: A&M Records

One user confessed, “Chris Cornell was so talented and emotionally powerful. The dude wrote the most banger Bond theme and the soundtrack to my teenage years with Audioslave.” Another admitted, “The only celebrity death I've ever cried at, Soundgarden is one of my favorite bands of all time.”

11. Heath Ledger

heath ledger the dark knight
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

“I know exactly where I was when I heard the news – on Powell in Portland, Oregon, right by the Arby's. I heard it on the radio. I couldn't drive any farther. I pulled over, called my sister, and we both cried. Another person confessed, “It was so weird to watch him play the role of his life, knowing that he would never know how big of a hit he was.”

10. David Bowie

david bowie cover
Featured Image Credit: Jim Henson Productions.

One person said, “David Bowie. Driving to work that morning, it was all over the radio. I saw several people openly crying in their cars. The station I listened to went with ‘Absolute Beginners' as a tribute. It seemed like an odd choice until it got to the chorus. Magnificent.”

Another added, “And that final album was released simultaneously and the final music video. Gut-wrenching. I remember seeing all the people outside his place singing and tearing up. That was a big one.”

9. Chadwick Boseman

Image of actor Chadwick Boseman
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Chadwick Boseman' Black Panther' That guy had colon cancer while making the Marvel movies, among others. He never said anything publicly; he got up and went to work every day. Some celebrities break a nail and post all over social media,” someone stated.

Another shared, “This was the first celebrity that made me cry. I work with many students who look up to him as the Black Panther. He was such a great role model, and it's sad to have lost him. And to know he continued working to be there for his fans breaks my heart.”

8. Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain
Image Credit: Focus Features

Someone confessed, “Yep. Anthony was so inspirational that he changed my life. I grew up in a small town, and my family always had the attitude, ‘Why would you want to travel when we live in the best country in the world?' The outside world was scary.”

“Anthony made me realize that foreign countries and their people are fun, welcoming, interesting, and their food is delicious! I've been to over 60 countries and am a better person. Anthony and his TV shows had a lot to do with that.”

7. Alan Rickman

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Image Credit: Warner Bros.

“One of my favorite Alan Rickman stories from the Galaxy Quest documentary. It was the last day of shooting, and Sigourney Weaver thanked everyone, and when she thanked him, he responded, ‘It was fun… Intermittently…' Best dry humor ever,” one person shared. Another joked, “Yeah. He was even a decent terrorist in Die Hard. I mean, he had a couch brought out for a pregnant lady.”

6. Carrie Fisher

Image Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

One user said, “Carrie Fisher. She felt like a wacky aunt I could always count on to give great advice and help me feel better on a bad day. I never heard anything unfriendly about her, and her perspective on mental health helped me so much while I was coming to terms with my mental illness. I laid face down on the floor when she died and cried for about three hours.”

Another added, “And Debbie Reynolds dying just a day after her daughter of a broken heart. It was the greatest love story of all time. A mother loving her daughter so much that she could not live without her.”

5. Robin Williams

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Image Credit: Columbia Tristar

Many people discussed their disbelief in taking his life before one user informed, “Hey, just pointing out: Williams' suicide was different. Because he was a comic with a history of drug use, everyone assumes it was done in a manic depressive state.”

“As if his whole career must not have been enough to fight his sadness, he gave up. People want to put his name next to Belushi and Farley. It wasn't like that. He didn't hate himself. He loved himself. He had aggressive dementia and chose to exit before he became someone else.”

4. Jim Henson

Jim Henson
Image Credit: Henson Associates

One person stated, “Jim Henson, too early and such a source of joy to so many.” “I still remember the first time I heard someone else voice, Kermit. What a gut punch,” said another. Finally, a third shared, “I still cannot believe that he could have prevented his untimely death had he prioritized his health over his work just a little more.”

3. Mr. Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers
Image Credit: Family Communications, Inc.`

“That man was a saint. I've grown to appreciate him more now as an adult than I ever did as a kid when I was his intended audience,” admitted one. “Everything about Fred Rogers was simple and uncomplicated but rich with meaning and life lessons. He lived out what he taught. We should all strive to be like Mr. Rogers,” a second user commented.

2. Grant Imahara

Grant Imahara
Image Credit: Beyond Television Productions

“Grant Imahara represented everything I admire in a tiny segment of our demographic: super-intelligent, innovative, knowledgeable, curious, and humble “out-of-the-box” thinker. He was the type that would have succeeded in anything he put his mind to,” one user shared.

Another added, “I genuinely think humanity lost a great asset with Grant's passing. I can only imagine what he would have continued to do to promote science and engineering education.”

1. Steve Irwin

Steve Irwin
Image Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer

“What made his death so poignant is that you never see what other celebrities are like in person. I genuinely believe that the person you saw on television was who he was. A larger-than-life personality who cared deeply for animals, people, and our planet,” admitted one user. Another added, “That's what his wife, kids, and all the people who knew him say – he was just a beacon of light and love.”

Honorable Mentions: Norm Macdonald, Freddie Mercury, Anton Yelchin, and Sean Lock.