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(1) Aaliyah, 22

Top 10 Actors Who Died Young

 Aaliyah Dana Haughton, who performed under the mononym Aaliyah, was an American recording artist, actress and model. The popular R&B singer and actress was killed at 22 in a plane crash before the release of her second film, ‘Queen of the Damned.’ At the time, she was attached to star in ‘The Matrix: Reloaded’ and ‘Revolutions.’

 [2] Brittany Murphy, 32

 Brittany Anne Murphy-Monjack known professionally as Brittany Murphy, was an American actress and singer. Died in 2009 from sudden cardiac arrest due to pnuemonia and anemia. She was a noted movie actress in films such as “Clueless” and “Sin City”. She also starred in various TV shows, such as “Party of Five”. She resided in Los Angeles with her husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack.

 [3] Carole Lombard, 33

 Died in 1942 in an airplane crash while touring the country on a war bond drive during WWII. She was mainly a comedy movie actress who often portrayed the zany blond in such movies as ‘My Man Godfrey’. She is listed as one of the American Film Institute’s greatest stars of all time and was the highest-paid star in Hollywood in the late 1930s, earning around US $500,000 per year. She was also married to Clark Gable.

 [4] Claudia Jennings, 29

 

 Claudia Jennings was Playboy magazine’s Playmate of the Month in November 1969 and later Playmate of the Year 1970. After her appearances in Playboy, Jennings became a popular actress in 1970s “drive-in” movies (for which many dubbed her the “Queen of the B’s”) and in television. In 1973, she had a guest appearance on The Brady Bunch. In 1979, Jennings tried out for the role of Kate Jackson’s replacement on Charlie’s Angels. Executives at the television network were put off by Jennings’ Playboy work, and Shelley Hack was chosen for the role. Early in the morning of October 3, 1979, Jennings died in a car accident when a van hit her while she was driving her Volkswagen Beetle convertible. She was on her way to Herman’s house in Malibu to collect her things. She was 29 years old.

[5] James Dean, 24

 The ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ star was only 24 when the car he was driving crashed, killing him instantly. He was the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and remains the only person to have two posthumous acting nominations. While he made only three films, his death transformed him from a rising star to an icon.

[6] Jonathan Brandis, 27

 Jonathan Gregory Brandis was an American actor, director, and screenwriter. The former teen idol, best known for roles in the films ‘Ladybugs’, ‘Sidekicks’, miniseries ‘Stephen King’s It’ and the TV show ‘SeaQuest DSV,’ hanged himself at his Los Angeles home in November 2003. He was 27.

 [7] Heath Ledger, 28

 Heath Andrew Ledger was an Australian television and film actor. For his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain, Ledger won the 2005 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and was nominated for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Actor. A few months before his death, Ledger had finished filming his penultimate performance, as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Died in 2008 from a drug overdose. He was a promising young actor whose films include ‘The Dark Knight’.

 [8] Lucy Gordon, 28

 Gordon made her film debut in the 2001 as the character Sarah in Perfume. She appeared alongside Heath Ledger in the 2002 film The Four Feathers. She appeared as the reporter Jennifer Dugan in the 2007 film Spider-Man 3. Died in 2009 from suicide by hanging. She was a noted British actress and model.

[9] Marilyn Monroe, 36 

 Died in 1962 from a drug overdose, ruled a suicide. She was one of Hollywood’s hottest actresses in the late 1950’s, but her acting ability was considered only average; although she was noted for the ability to bring both a sensuality and a vulnerability to her screen characters.

 [10] Tupac Shakur, 25

 

 He was born in New York City and his mother, Afeni Shakur, was a member of the Black Panther Party. Shakur spent much of his youth in Harlem, then Baltimore, Maryland. Promising film actor and the hip-hop master he was shot dead in Las Vegas at 25. His murder, cause of much speculation of an East Coast-West Coast rap war, is still unsolved.

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