Monday, 27 August 2012

Unusual Celebrity Deaths

Celebrities are so exposed in the public eye that whenever one dies everyone seems to be in a state of shock. Even with Dennis Hopper’s recent passing, everyone knew he was terminally ill and didn’t have long to live but even when he did pass away people were still surprised and talking about it. There seems to be an air of mystical immortality surrounding celebrities, placed on a pedestal so high by the public that they expect to be able to look up to them forever and not envisage them ever falling. It therefore comes as an even bigger shock if a celeb dies unexpectedly, in a tragic accident when they were at the peak of their careers. Some celeb deaths shock us simply by the unusual circumstances surrounding it. Here is a list of ten of the most unusual celebrity deaths.

1. Attila the Hun

Image source - Wikipedia
OK so he’s not the first dead celebrity you’d think of, some of you may be saying he’s not even a celebrity. But hey, if that word can be applied to contestants on a reality show then I think Attila the Hun can be regarded as one too seeing as he achieved so much more in his life. Atilla was the fearsome ruler of the Huns from 434 to 453 AD. He was public enemy number one to the Roman Empires. Twice he attacked the Balkans; he marched his army through France; and his rulership spread from Germany to the Ural River and from the Danube River to the Baltic Sea. Many today regard him as a monster, a cruel dictator who ruled through fear. In Turkey and Hungary though he is hailed as a hero. He died from a nosebleed on his wedding night though, which isn’t very heroic or manly.

2. Tennessee Williams

Image source - Wikipedia
A famous playright who was most famous for his play “A Streetcar Named Desire”. Williams battled with his addiction to alcohol and depression throughout his life. In 1983 he died in a strange accident. Taking eyedrops he choked to death on the bottle cap he’d put in his mouth whilst he was pouring the eyedrops into his eyes. He’d tilted his head back and the bottle cap had fallen back into his throat where it got lodged.

3. Elvis Presley

Image source - Wikipedia
The King, as he was known to all, passed away in less glorious fashion. He died whilst he was on the toilet on 16 August 1977; he was only 42. His staff found him choked on his own vomit. A post-mortem revealed that his body contained a cocktail of ten prescribed drugs, which were taken in highly dangerous doses. The drugs included the painkillers Morphine and Demerol; Chloropheniramine, an antihistamine; the tranquilizers Placidyl and Vailum; and four drugs were found in “significant” quantities: Codeine, an opiate, Ethinamate, largely prescribed at the time as a “sleeping pill,” Quaaludes, and a barbituate, or depressant, that has never been identified.

4. Salvatore “Sonny” Bono

Image source - alhazan
Sonny Bono enjoyed a diverse career that spanned three decades. He was a record producer, singer, actor and politician. He was famed for that song he sang with Cher. He passed away in 1998 though when on a skiing holiday on the Nevada side of Heavenly Ski Resort near South Lake Tahoe, California. He died from the injuries he sustained after crashing into a tree.

5. Jeff Buckley

Image source -
American singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley was the son of Tim Buckley, who was also a musician. On 29 May 1997 Jeff  went for a swim, fully clothed and in his boots, in the Mississippi River. He was never seen alive again. Friends heard him singing the chorus to “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin but when the singing stopped and Jeff was no longer visible in the water a search was issued. His body was not found until four days later. Drugs or alcohol were suspected to be the cause but neither were found in his system so the cause of death was accidental drowning.

6. Owen Hart

Image source - Weblo
The WWF wrestler and brother of Bret The Hitman Hart died in a stunt that went wrong. Owen Hart was due to enter the ring from the ceiling, lowered by cables for dramatic effect. However, something went wrong with the stunt harness and rather than being lowered slowly, Hart plummeted 78 feet landing chest first in the ring. At the time of his death Owen Hart was in character as The Blue Blazer, a buffoonish super-hero-come-wrestler.

7. Steve Irwin

Image source - Wikipedia
Steve Irwin aka the Crocodile Hunter was tragically killed on 4 September 2006 when he was pierced in the chest by a stingray’s barb. Irwin had been filming for his television show at the time in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Irwin was an eccentric TV personality and had a childlike fearlessness when it came to handling some of the world’s most dangerous animals. It was said that he swam too close to one of the stingray’s who felt threatened by his presence, which resulted in it piercing Irwin’s heart with its barb instantly killing him.

8. David Carradine

Image source - Wikipedia
How do you Kill Bill? Suicide was suspected initially after Carradine’s body was discovered hanging from a rope in a closet in Bangkok. However, suspicion was aroused when shoelace tied around Carradine’s manhood was also found. Two autopsies were carried out and concluded that the cause of death was autoerotic asphyxiation – meaning a form of bondage sex gone wrong. After the actor’s death two of his exes – Gail Jensen and Marina Anderson – came forward and admitted that  Carradine had a dark side and liked to indulge in deviant sexual behaviour.

9. Brandon Lee

Image source - distantcreations
Bruce Lee’s son Brandon was on the set of the film The Crow in which he was playing the lead role. One scene required Lee to be shot by a prop-gun firing blanks. The gun had been used several times before in filming but a cheaply made round of blanks had lodged part of the lead in the barrel of the gun. When a new round of blanks were loaded and a shot was fired on that particular occasion at Lee, the impact of the lead hit the actor with the force of a real bullet. His death raised questions by people who began to suspect that the Lee family were cursed as his father had died in mysterious circumstances exactly 20 years earlier.

10. Marc Vivien Foé

Image source - thekushchronicles
Foé was a promising Cameroonian footballer at the peak of his sporting career. He played for West Ham, Lyon and was on loan to Manchester City when he died. It was rumoured that some of the sports biggest clubs were going to sign him, including Manchester Utd. But during the 2003 Confederations Cup tournament, whilst playing against Colombia in the semi-finals, Foé collapsed onto the pitch unexpectedly with no one around him. He was given oxygen on the pitch and was then stretchered off where medics attempted to restart his heart for 45 minutes. Their efforts were in vain and Foé was pronounced dead. The first autopsy could not determine what the player had died from. The second autopsy though indicated that his death was caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – a hereditary condition known to increase the risk of sudden death during physical exercise.