8 ’90s Stars You Didn’t Know Were Dead

  
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This might be quite surprising, and possibly even alarming, but some celebrities you believed to be alive and well, actually passed away years ago! For most celebrities when their time in the spotlight ends, they kind of go off the map and we stop keeping tabs on them. This is when the public misses monumental things like their passing — and that can be said for the following individuals on this list. It seemed there was too much going on, or some other really big news that disallowed everyone to mourn the loss of some television and movie favorites, or toss out a “Thanks for the laughs…” Here are eight stars from the 1990s who have passed away without the social media hoopla.

8. Brad Renfro

Brad Renfro got his start in acting at a young age, locking down a role in John Grisham’s story, adapted for screen, The Client. Brad being a Tennessee native, became an easy front runner for the Grisham story, as all of John’s stuff takes place in his regional backyard. Brad went on to enjoy immense success in the 1990s, pushing into his teenage years and young adulthood at the turn of the century. He was good and he was very intelligent. At a certain point, he let things come between his life and his career goals. In a haunting interview–one of the last he offered–he soberly advised anyone interested in acting to avoid the pitfalls of the party lifestyle, or anything that would be a distraction from reaching goals. It was less than a year later that Brad died of a heroin overdose, after getting clean for a time.

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7. James Avery

He will always be known as Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The comedy skills came easy for James Avery, but before he booked the lead role on the incredibly popular sitcom, he had enjoyed an impressive career playing a variety of roles in film and television. Fans might remember him as a really mean, abusive police officer in the Chevy Chase comedy, Fletch, while others might have recognized his voice as Shredder in one of the many incarnations of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series. Outside his acting, James was known as an approachable celebrity with a reputation beyond reproach. He continued to work until his unexpected death, which came in 2013. The official cause of death was listed as complications following open heart surgery. “Some of my greatest lessons in acting, living and being a respectable human being came through James,” Will Smith said.

BDG / Rex Features

BDG / Rex Features

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