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10 Celebrity Alcoholics Who Drank Themselves To Death


Famous pop/rock musician Billy Joel has admitted to struggling with alcohol abuse in his adult life. Drinking has, apparently, gotten in the way of his career and personal relationships. Fellow musician Elton John begged Joel to get treatment for alcoholism. In an early 2011 issue of Rolling Stone, John is quoted as saying that Joel needed to check into “tough” rehab, and that alcoholism was getting in the way of his life and career. The “Friday” star died in September 2021 at age 55 from “chronic ethanol use,” which was a result of years of heavy drinking, according to an autopsy report obtained by TMZ. Hen it comes to public battles with addiction, alcohol abuse is often sidelined. The abuse of other drugs is perceived as being more serious, and problems with drinking are often put on the back burner. However, alcohol abuse, especially over an extended period, can be extremely damaging to our health and is definitely not something to be taken lightly. Unfortunately, there are a fair few celebrities who ultimately succumbed to their drinking problem.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday. According to the autopsy report released Wednesday by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner, Vincent died of “chronic alcohol use,” USA Today reports. At Muse Addiction Treatment Center in Los Angeles, we understand the many underlying issues surrounding addiction and aim to treat alcoholism at its root. We strive to give our clients the tools they need to gain long-lasting sobriety that continues way beyond their time with us. We support every client no matter where they are in their recovery journey and understand that sometimes it takes a few tries to find the right program. Often high-functioning alcoholics feel “locked in” to their drinking because they worry that when the alcohol stops, so will their success. Van Gogh was enamored with absinthe, and it featured in many of his paintings. During much of his most productive years, Van Gogh’s diet mainly consisted of bread, coffee, alcohol, and cigarettes. Alcohol is at least partially responsible for the mental decline that led to his removal of his ear in 1888 and his suicide in 1890.

Actor Leon Vitali …

The alcohol is interfering with their family, their friendships, their job, and their health. At press time, another example of celebrity substance abuse has surfaced. The death of pop star Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009, is being investigated for this possibility. Prescription drugs, especially the opioid analgesics, now cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine. All of these drugs can cause central nervous system and respiratory depression. They form deadly combinations with barbiturates and other sedatives and with alcohol. Next, we have the “27 club,” celebrity entertainers who died at age 27 of substance abuse.

Unable to fight her demons, she later died from alcohol intoxication on July 23, 2011, at the age of 27. According to the coroner, her blood alcohol content was more than five times the legal amount at the time of her death. Many musical artists went on to pay tribute to Winehouse including Lady Gaga, Bruna Mars, Rihanna, Adele, and Nicki Minaj. Female silent movie star Julia Burns and Barbara Payton are also just a few of the famous women who died of alcholism. Later in life, Reynolds succumbed to an addiction to prescription painkillers after taking the drugs following back surgery. On September 18, 1970, Hendrix consumed nine sleeping pills prescribed to his girlfriend, Monika Dannemann’s Vesparax. Dannemann awoke the next day to find Hendrix unresponsive and barely breathing.

Oliver Reed’s last drink in Malta

And stopping has shown me a world of happiness that I didn’t think was possible.” This is a lesson that we can all learn from Radcliffe. Born in Espoo, Finland, Lailo had always been one for music. He took up violin at the age of 7 and began playing the guitar at the age of 11. After a short stint with an experimental band, he formed Children of Bodom with Jasaka Raatikainen in 1993. He’d also recorded three albums with Sinergy, a Finnish actors who died of alcoholism heavy metal band whom he’d played the guitar for. That same year, she was diagnosed with heart disease and on July 17, 1959, she died of heart failure and pulmonary edema, both of which were caused by the cirrhosis. Barbara Payton was once an aspiring actress whose promise was blighted by her problems with alcoholism and drug addiction. Peter Cook was an English comedian who had a successful career in British television and film.

What is the least harmful alcohol to drink?

  • Red Wine.
  • Light Beer.
  • Tequila.
  • Gin & Rum & Vodka & Whiskey.

Mason said she was also moved to start the foundation in Johnson’s name because she has other close friends who have lost their children due to alcohol. Interested in all things tech, cryptocurrency, fitness and drinking copious amounts of coffee. A few years later, after returning from Sober Home an autobiography tour, she visited the doctor for stomach pains. She was subsequently diagnosed with liver cirrhosis and checked into the University of Vermont Medical Centre. Despite the doctor’s best efforts, she died of acute kidney injury and acute hepatitis on July 7, 1973.

Stephen King

A National Institutes of Health study published in 2009 found that people with untreated sleep disorders often turn to drugs or alcohol to achieve sleep or maintain wakefulness during the day. This form of heart disease occurs when substances including fats and cholesterol attach to artery walls, eventually stiffening and compromising the strength and elasticity of the heart. Coronary arteries lose their ability to transport blood efficiently into and through the heart, which is the body’s most critical muscle. With the fragmentary and sometimes contradictory evidence that exists regarding Poe’s last days, it’s hard to imagine that there will ever be a completely satisfactory answer as to what killed him.
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Hank Williams, who recorded 66 songs and wrote 50 of them himself, died at age 29. The exact cause of death is somewhat of a mystery, although Hank was known to be a binge alcoholic and abused opioid analgesics for chronic back pain. An autopsy showed no trace of any drugs in her stomach but did show a purplish discoloration of the colon. Toxicology studies found a massive amount of pentobarbital and chloral hydrate in her body. It was suggested that the purple colon was a manifestation of an inflammatory response to barbiturates, possibly administered by enema. (She had enemas frequently, as did other Hollywood stars.) Again, following her death, there was a cover-up by the Los Angeles Police Department and the government. In order to preserve the Elvis image and legacy, a “cover up” was initiated by the family and the pathologists. The stomach contents at autopsy were destroyed before analysis, no real police investigation was conducted, and no drugs were found at Graceland.

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Elvis had visited the dentist the day before for a temporary crown and was given codeine. Later he called his physician, Dr. George Nichopoulas (“Dr. Nick”), for increased pain and was prescribed six hydromorphone tablets. In 2015, he told the Mirror“It is my responsibility to do the best I can and to take it one day at a time. The scariest is when you go into a meeting and you’re like, ‘Where’s Steve? In 2013, King opened up to The Guardianabout his former alcohol addiction, describing how he’s not ashamed of his past. But it also says in there, “We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. I regret the necessity.” King’s not about to pretend he didn’t have struggles with alcohol, nor does he think he should hide it, either. It’s a part of who he is, and he’s been sober ever since his family intervention.

Instead of replacing Laiho, however, it was announced that the group would be disbanding. While she was a talented singer, however, she was also a hardcore alcoholic . And in 1959, her lifestyle had caught up to her; she was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis. In addition to depression, which she’d struggled with for many years, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2015. And her mental health issues were only made worse with alcohol use. Dolores O’Riordan was the lead singer for the alternative rock band the Cranberries. By the mid-90s, they had reached international stardom with millions of record sales worldwide.

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He had picked up a drinking habit as an early teen and later self-medicated with alcohol and painkillers for his chronic back pain problems. He attempted many times to get sober, but it never lasted long. A number of diseases have been proposed as possible causes of Poe’s death, including diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy, and tuberculosis. One of the most intriguing possibilities, suggested by a doctor at the University of Maryland, is that Poe may have died from rabies. Poe’s delirium seemed to get better and then worsen again over the last days of his life, a pattern observed in patients with late-stage rabies. Furthermore, Poe’s hospital records indicated that Poe had difficulty drinking water. This may have been a manifestation of one of rabies’ characteristic symptoms, a fear of water. The most prominent is that he died from complications of alcoholism. Snodgrass, the doctor who saw Poe in the tavern, believed that Poe had been drinking heavily and that he ultimately succumbed to the tremors and delirium that can accompany alcohol withdrawal.
After a difficult childhood, she began singing in various nightclubs as a teen. Ultimately, it was there that she caught the attention of John Hammond, who liked her voice. She subsequently landed a recording deal with Brunswick Records in 1935. By the 1940s, she had recorded numerous hits, most of which had found their way onto music charts. After working various jobs here and there, he made his acting debut in the TV series Stargate Atlantis. He also played minor roles in Smallville, Flash Gordon, and Supernatural. Cory Monteith is best known for his portrayal of Finn Hudson in the musical drama Glee. He also appeared in the films Sisters & Brothers and Monte Carlo.
actors who died of alcoholism
The cause of his death was hemorrhages as a result of alcoholism. The coroner’s inquest revealed that Bonham had been on a real bender the day before his death, and reports suggest he had kicked off the day with 16 shots of vodka at breakfast. When he did pass in 1984 at the age of 58, it was due to an intracerebral hemorrhage. His actual death was sudden, but his health had been declining for many years due to alcoholism. Baseball player who spent his entire career with the New York Yankees, noted after his career had ended that alcohol had hurt him both personally and professionally. Towards the end of his life, he required a liver transplant because hepatitis and cirrhosis had rotted his liver.
actors who died of alcoholism
Leonard Nimoy is best known for his enduring role as Mr. Spock from Star Trek. Unfortunately, the success of the show led him to drink, and what Nimoy called “unwinding” spiraled into a ritual of drinking wine, beer, or other spirits at the end of shooting every day. Eventually, he even started to sneak drinks on the set, disguised as water in a paper cup. Society’s view of drug addiction has changed very little since Osler’s and Halsted’s time and is still frequently approached with secrecy and denial. It should be noted that in the 19th century and the early 1900s, morphine usage was not only legal but more socially acceptable than alcohol. Morphine was used during the American Civil War as a surgical anesthetic and was sent home with numerous wounded soldiers for pain relief.

Many will remember Lane as the lead singer for 1980s metal band Warrant. The man who wrote “Cherry Pie” was found dead alone at a Comfort Inn in Woodlands, Calif., surrounded by bottles of booze and containers of prescription pills. He embraced alcohol and the rock lifestyle even long after the short-lived fame of his band, but did make attempts to sober up. Steve Clark was Def Leppard’s guitarist and one of their main songwriters. He was a longtime alcoholic who had been trying to sober up when he died on Jan. 8, 1991 at the age of 30. At the time, he was on an official leave of absence from the band so he could get cleaned up. Clark died in his Chelsea home after a night at the local pub. Led Zeppelin’s drummer and resident fun guy, John Bonham died on Sept. 25, 1980 at the age of 32. Bonham was well-known for his drinking prowess, and ultimately, it cost him his life.

  • The abuse of other drugs is perceived as being more serious, and problems with drinking are often put on the back burner.
  • Heath Ledger died from a prescription drug overdose at age 28.
  • Verne Troyer is best known for portraying Mini-Me in the spy film series Austin Powers.
  • As his power grew, though, so did his sense of paranoia and megalomania.

A child of poverty, she was raised mainly by her mother-in-law and frequently skipped school. On December 20, 1940, Fitzgerald lapsed into consciousness during the premiere of This Thing Called Love. F. Scott Fitzgerald is considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. During his lifetime, he published several novels including, ‘The Great Gatsby’, which has since become a classic American title. It wasn’t until his death, however, that he received critical acclaim. The toxicology report showed that when Dunn crashed his blood alcohol level was over twice the legal limit. This was not Dunn’s first DUI offense, and he was known to struggle with addiction. Mickey Mantle was a baseball legend who is widely regarded as the greatest switch hitter in history. The artist released albums titled “Relapse” and “Recovery” in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

The “First Lady of Rock and Roll” overdose may have been caused by her severe anxiety and possible depression. Even though her death is thought to have been a heroin overdose, alcohol also played a role. David Cassidy’s rise to fame started in the early 1970s on the musical sitcom “The Partridge Family,” which catapulted him into a teen idol and superstar pop singer. During an interview with A&E, Cassidy admitted he had a drinking problem to cover actors who died of alcoholism up the sadness and emptiness, even after attempting sober living many times. He had attributed his memory problems to dementia, but it was actually alcohol-induced, and he had developed liver disease. On November 21, 2017, he died after days in the hospital due to liver and kidney failure directly resulting from his alcoholism. While alcoholism can affect anyone from any type of career, we often see musicians especially vulnerable to addiction.

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