13 Most Shocking Celebrity Deaths Of 2014

2014 has been an intense year for celebrity deaths. We have had to say goodbye to many well known faces this year, as well as a few lesser known ones. One of the worst ways to learn about someone is because they passed, but that is sometimes just the way it goes. Many of the celebrity deaths this year came as quite the shock. They were relatively young with a considerable amount of life still ahead of them. Others weren’t quite as shocking because they had already been sick or were just at the age when anything can happen. Here is Fame10’s list of the 13 most shocking celebrity deaths of 2014!

13. Mickey Rooney

Mickey Rooney passed away this past April at the age of 93. His death was due to natural causes, including complications related to diabetes. Although his career spanned eight decades, he didn’t have much money left at the time of his death. He had disinherited his ex wife, as well as his eight surviving children. He left his entire estate, which was worth only $18,000, to one of his estranged wife’s stepsons.

Rooney had a pretty turbulent personal life. He was married eight times in total. His first wife was Ava Gardner, who he stayed with for a year. He then married Betty Jane Rase. Once they were divorced, he settled down with Martha Vickers and then, after her, Elaine Mahnken Devry. Hours after their divorce, he married Barbara Ann Thomason. Their marriage ended when her lover killed her in a murder-suicide. Rooney then married her friend, Margaret Lane. When that didn’t work out, he moved on to Carolyn Hockett. His eighth and final wife was Jan Chamberlain, but he separated with her months before his death.

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12. Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta died this past October at the age of 82 from complications of cancer. He was first diagnosed with it back in 2006; however, last year, he was quoted as saying that he had beaten it. “Yes, I had cancer. Right now, I am totally clean,” he said. “The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life.”

The celebrated fashion designer had a really successful career dressing both socialites and Hollywood celebrities. He has created dresses for Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Cameron Diaz, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Lawrence and Eva Mendes. A few weeks before his death, he designed a dress for Amal Alamuddin’s wedding to George Clooney.

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11. Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall died of a stroke this past August. The Academy Award-nominated actress first earned a name for herself back in the ‘40s. She became quite popular because of her on and off-screen romance with Humphrey Bogart. These two met on the set of “To Have and Have Not” and were married a year later. They had two children and starred in a number of films together, including “The Big Sleep,” “Dark Passage’ and “Key Largo.”

Bacall and Bogart stayed married until he died from esophageal cancer in 1957. “He was an extraordinary, extraordinary man. I mean, I’ve been extremely lucky. God, I have no complaints at all,” Bacall said of her late husband during a 2005 interview with Larry King. In 1961, she married Jason Robards. They had one child together and divorced eight years later. According to Bacall, the marriage ended because she couldn’t put up with his alcoholism.

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10. Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple died this past February. Although her family initially claimed that she died of natural causes, her death certificate states that she actually died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This was most likely due to her chronic smoking. It turns out that the former child star smoked for a good chunk of her life, but she managed to keep the habit a secret so that she wouldn’t set a bad example for her fans.

Temple began her career back in 1932 when she was only three years old. As a child actress, she was really popular and quickly shot to international fame; however, as she matured, her popularity waned. At the age of 22, she decided to retire from acting completely and, as an adult, she entered politics and became a diplomat. She served as a United States Ambassador to Ghana and later to Czechoslovakia and as Chief of Protocol of the United States.

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9. Diem Brown

Diem Brown – who first rose to fame as a recurring cast member on the reality TV show “The Challenge – died this month as a result of colon cancer at the age of 34. She had beaten the disease twice before. She was only 23-years-old the first time she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Less than ten years after beating it the first time, it came back. Doctors told her that she probably wouldn’t live to see 2013. She chronicled her fight against the disease in a blog for People.com, becoming an advocate for those who were also fighting cancer.

This past October, Brown revealed that the cancer had been found in her stomach and colon and that in August it had spread to her liver and lymph nodes. Throughout her battle with cancer, she fought valiantly and stayed positive. Even though her prognosis was bad the third time around, she still maintained that she would beat cancer again.

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8. Eric Hill

Eric Hill – a former contestant on “The Bachelorette” – died tragically this past April after injuries suffered in a paragliding accident. Prior to his death, he had been on a mission to visit every country on the planet in 1,200 days. He had only interrupted this journey to join “The Bachelorette.” After filming had finished, he resumed his adventure and headed off to Utah where he spent his last moments paragliding from a mountainside in really turbulent conditions. As a result of the weather, his parachute failed to open and swung him into a hill instead away from it.

Producers from “The Bachelorette” released a statement following Hill’s death expressing their sadness over his passing. “Eric inspired us every day with his passion, his courage and his adventurous spirit, and for that we are very thankful,” the show’s statement said. “On behalf of our cast, crew and producers, we send our love, our thoughts and our prayers to Eric’s family during this difficult time.”

7. Misty Upham

Misty Upham – who is best known for her role in “August: Osage County” – was found dead this past October in a wooded area near Auburn, Washington. The actress had been missing for about a week when she was found. While the King County Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet determined a cause of death, her family believes that she had died after accidentally after slipping off a steep embankment. According to her father, she had probably been trying to hide from police who had treated her poorly in the past.

It looks as though it could be possible that Upham committed suicide. Her father said that she had suffered from mental illness for most of her life and had not been taking her medication at the time of her disappearance. Some reports indicate that she had been struggling with depression and panic attacks and that police had responded to Upham’s apartment four times for suicide calls in the past year alone.

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6. Peaches Geldof

Peaches Geldof died this past April of a heroin overdose. This came as a big shock since most people believed that she had been clean and her life was back on track. In 2009, she had said that her drug-taking years were behind her. She married Thomas Cohen and had two sons with him, and she was working as a broadcaster and fashion writer at the time of her death.

When police arrived at Peaches’ home, they found her body and her baby son (alive), as well as drug paraphernalia and 6.9 grams of heroin. Her father, Bob Geldof, blames himself for his daughter’s untimely death. “For everybody watching, who has a dead kid and you’re a parent. You go back, you go back, you go back, you go back, you go back, you go back, you go over. What could you have done? You do as much as you can,” he told the Guardian.

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5. Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols died suddenly last week after suffering a heart attack. He was 83-years-old. The legendary director had made quite a name for himself on Broadway and in Hollywood. He is one of the few people to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award. His work is celebrated. In total, his films have garnered 42 Oscar nominations and seven awards. Some of his more notable films include “The Graduate,” “Working Girl,” “Closer” and “Charlie Wilson’s War.”

The Oscar-winning director had been married a total of four times. His first three marriages all ended in divorce; however, his fourth (and last) marriage to Sawyer lasted 25-years (until his death). He has three children; two from his second marriage and one from his third. According to Nichols, his last marriage was by far the best. “My ultimate happiness began in 1988 when I married Diane. She is the perfect wife,” he said.

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4. Joan Rivers

This past September, Joan Rivers died after undergoing a minor throat procedure to treat voice changes and deal with acid reflux. During the procedure, she went into hypoxic arrest, which cut off oxygen to her brain. Although she was resuscitated an hour later and placed on life support, she had already suffered brain damage because of the lack oxygen, which caused her death several days later.

According to a report issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the clinic where Rivers had the throat procedure performed made a number of mistakes before and during the surgery. Some of the major errors include a failure to respond to her deteriorating vital signs and provide timely intervention; possibly administering the wrong dosage of Propofol; and performing a procedure without her consent. According to a staff member at the clinic, the doctor took a selfie in the procedure room while Rivers was under anesthesia.

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3. L’Wren Scott

This past March, fashion designer L’Wren Scott was found dead in her New York City apartment by her assistant. She had committed suicide by hanging herself with a scarf off a doorknob. Police said that there were no signs of foul play and that no note was left. There are many theories out there for why she chose to take her own life. She was reportedly millions of dollars in debt when she died and sources say that she was so distraught and embarrassed over her failing business that she saw death as the only way out.

While some people blamed L’Wren’s depression on her career, others say that her 13-year relationship with Mick Jagger was causing her problems. As many of us already know, he has a reputation for philandering, which is exactly what he was reportedly doing behind Scott’s back. Some say that these two were broken up when she killed herself; however, he maintains that they were still very much together.

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2. Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment this past February with a needle in his arm. According to the New York City Medical Examiner, he had died of an accidental overdose of drugs. Heroin, cocaine benzodiazepines and amphetamines were all found in his system and it is believed that this mix is what caused his death. Police reportedly found 50 envelopes branded “Ace of Spades” in his apartment that were filled with heroin.

Prior to his death, the Oscar-winning actor had been quite open with his struggles with addiction. After 23 years of sobriety, he had entered rehab in May 2013 after he relapsed. Hoffman told TMZ that he had started abusing prescription drugs and then, after a year of that, found himself snorting heroin. It took about a week of this before he realized he needed help. Friends who saw him in the days leading up to his death had no idea that the actor had started using drugs again.

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1. Robin Williams

This past August, Robin Williams was found dead in his home in Paradise City, California. According to the coroner’s report, the Oscar-winning actor had hanged himself with a belt and had died from asphyxiation. The final autopsy report confirmed that there were no drugs or alcohol involved; however, an examination of Williams’ brain tissue suggested that he had Lewy body dementia, which was probably misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease. According to his rep, he had been suffering from severe depression and from an increase in paranoia prior to his suicide.

Two months before his death, Williams – who had been struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol for years – had checked into rehab to focus on his sobriety. He had a relapse back in 2006 after remaining sober for 20 years, so rehab was more precautionary this time around. Whatever the case, it sounds like he was really struggling and didn’t get the help he needed.

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Cate has a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature and has been the Managing Editor of Fame10 for more than 6 years. Despite having a love for the works of Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy and Lord Byron, she also has an intense fascination with pop culture. When she isn’t writing for Fame10, she’s planning her next big adventure in Southeast Asia.