Before starting a new chapter, these public figures deserve to be remembered and honored as their passing deeply shook the entertainment industry as well as their fans.
AceShowbiz -A bunch of shocking moments happened in the showbiz this year, both good and bad. The industry has specifically suffered a lot of big losses, including the precious lives of some Hollywood icons. Car accidents, suicides and drug overdoses remain notable reasons for their sudden deaths.
This year, we’ve also lost some talented rappers’ lives due to gang rivalries and fatal shootings, which have been covered in a separate article you can see here. Below, AceShowbiz remembers the actors, singers and other stars we’ve lost in 2022. Read on to revisit their memories.
1. Bob Saget
Bob Saget passed away in the middle of his stand-up comedy tour, “I Don’t Do Negative”. Just hours before he was found lifeless on January 9 in his hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, Florida, the “Full House” star took to social media to gush about his experience on tour.
“I’m back in comedy like I was when I was 26,” he captioned a selfie on Instagram. “I guess I’m finding my new voice and loving every moment of it. Goin’ everywhere until I get the special shot. And then probably keep going ’cause I’m addicted to this s**t.”
A month after the news of his passing shocked the showbiz industry, his family released a statement revealing how he died following a formal investigation. According to the family, the comedian passed away at 65 from brain trauma, which he reportedly sustained after hitting the back of his head on an object by accident.
2. Gaspard Ulliel
Gaspard Ulliel had a very bright and promising acting career ahead of him had he not been involved in a tragic skiing accident. Just two days after the release of the trailer for his latest project, Marvel’s newest series “Moon Knight“, the acclaimed French actor passed away. He was 37.
According to reports, Gaspard collided with a 40-year-old Lithuanian skier at the intersection of two runs while skiing at the La Rosiere Ski Resort on January 19. Following the accident, he was rushed to a hospital in Grenoble, where he was operated on for major head trauma. Unfortunately, he didn’t survive.
The funeral service for the “Hannibal Rising” star took place on January 27 at the Sainte-Eustache church in the heart of Paris. The ceremony was attended by nearly 1,000 people. Besides his family, including his six-year-old son, fellow actors turned up to pay him respects, notably Catherine Deneuve, Lea Seydoux, Jeremie Renier, Vincent Cassel and Nathalie Baye.
3. Miss USA Cheslie Kryst
Also in January, showbiz lost the precious life of Cheslie Kryst. Cheslie rose to fame when she became the winner of the 2017 Miss North Carolina USA pageant and the winner of the 2019 Miss USA pageant. In addition to that, she was an attorney with an M.B.A. and an Emmy-nominated correspondent for the TV program “Extra“. So to many, her death by suicide at the age of 30 was met with disbelief.
On January 30, Cheslie decided to take her own life by jumping from a 60-story apartment building where she lived in New York City. In an interview following her tragic and shocking passing, her mother April Simpkins said that even as Cheslie added achievements, she had been suffering from depression for years.
“In her private life, she was dealing with high-functioning depression, which she hid from everyone, including me…her closest confidant, until very shortly before her death,” April said in a statement to “Extra”.
4. Lindsey Pearlman
Less than a month after the entertainment industry was shocked by Cheslie Kryst‘s suicide story, Lindsey Pearlman committed suicide. The 43-year-old actress, best known for her roles on “General Hospital” and “Chicago Justice“, was found lifeless in a vehicle near Runyon Canyon Park, Los Angeles on February 18 after going missing days before.
Lindsey was reported missing on February 13. Her cousin, Savannah Pearlman, tweeted on February 17 that the actress’ phone was last pinged on Sunset Boulevard, just 1.5 miles from where her body was located.
According to the coroner’s office, the cause of death has been listed as suicide due to “sodium nitrite toxicity” and the case status has been listed as “closed.” The report further noted that “non-toxic levels of lorazepam, metoclopramide, and codeine” were found in her system. Investigators also learned that she suffered from bouts of depression over the years and that she left a suicide note at her home and another in her car, telling whoever found her to call 911.
5. Taylor Hawkins
One of the biggest and most tragic stories in rock music in 2022 was the sudden death of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. The 50-year-old drummer was found unresponsive before the band was to perform for their tour stop in Bogota, Colombia.
Shortly before his death, Taylor allegedly suffered chest pain. A Twitter statement from the city’s District Secretary of Health noted that the local emergency center received a report about a patient, staying in a hotel north of the city, who had pain in his chest. An ambulance was dispatched to the scene where he was found unresponsive. Attempts to resuscitate him were not successful before he was pronounced dead.
Colombian authorities later claimed that Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders frontman had 10 drugs present in his system, including marijuana, tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines and opioids, at the time of his death.
6. Naomi Judd
Facing the loss of a loved one is always difficult but losing someone to suicide can bring the pain to another level, and that’s what Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd felt. On April 30, Ashley and Wynonna had a difficult time accepting the fact that their mother Naomi Judd had turned a gun to herself.
According to documents from the Nashville medical examiner’s office, The Judds singer was found “unresponsive in her home by family” at 10:57 A.M. local time. She was 76 years old. “She had an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and was transported to Williamson Medical Center where she was pronounced dead shortly after arrival,” the report stated.
“Per family, the decedent has had prior suicidal ideations and recent life stressors. A weapon and a note with suicidal connotations were found near the decedent at the scene,” the autopsy continued, revealing that Naomi had a medical history of “significant” anxiety, bipolar disorder, chronic idiopathic pneumonitis, hepatitis C, hypertension, hypothyroidism and depression. Just one day after her tragic passing, The Judds were inducted into the Country Hall of Fame.
7. Kailia Posey
Indeed, suicides and mental health issues are related to each other. After remembering the way Cheslie Kryst, Lindsey Pearlman and Naomi Judd ended their life, this time, we trace back to Kailia Posey‘s suicide story. The “Toddlers & Tiaras” star hung herself at the age of 16.
Kailia’s family announced in a heartbreaking statement that their daughter had taken her life on May 2. “Although she was an accomplished teenager with a bright future ahead of her, unfortunately in one impetuous moment, she made the rash decision to end her earthly life,” the statement read.
The Whatcom County medical examiner in Washington confirmed that Kailia’s cause of death was asphyxia due to ligature hanging and the manner was suicide. Following her sudden death, one of the TLC star’s friends admitted that the late star had been “struggling” before her suicide. “We knew she was struggling with a few things, and we all did everything we could to encourage her and help,” revealed the pal. “We didn’t know what was going on.”
8. Lil Keed
Lil Keed passed away less than a week after fellow YSL members Young Thug and Gunna were arrested in a 56-count RICO indictment on May 9. The 24-year-old rapper allegedly complained of serious stomach pain leading up to his death and was rushed to hospital, after which his liver and kidneys began to fail.
On May 13, Lil Keed, born Raqhid Jevon Render, was pronounced dead at Burbank Hospital at around 10 P.M. At the time, an autopsy was conducted but the case was initially deferred “pending additional investigation,” which deepened the mystery as fans believed that YSL was “attacked.”
Seven months later the official cause of death was released by the medical examiner. Sharing the news was the young rising rapper’s mother Michelle Woods. “7 months after learning about the passing of my son, I’ve received his official cause of death from the doctors. In grieving my son’s death, myself and the rest of the family were caused a lot of pain by the lies and rumors spread on the blogs and the internet with false information about Raqhid’s passing,” she wrote on December 14. “Today, we’ve confirmed that Raqhid died from natural causes with no drugs or alcohol found in his system.”
9. Ray Liotta
Death comes without warning. Ray Liotta was found lifeless in the midst of filming for what now has become his latest and final project “Dangerous Water” in the Dominican Republic. The “Goodfellas” star’s fiancee Jacy Nittolo found him dead on May 26 in his hotel room.
According to reports, the 67-year-old actor passed away in his sleep and “no foul play is suspected.” It’s widely speculated that the cause of death was Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS).
The Emmy-winning actor is survived by a daughter, Karsen Liotta, and his fiancee, Jacy. A couple of days following his sudden passing, Jacy, who was engaged to the actor on Christmas Day in 2020, penned a moving message on Instagram along with a slideshow of the couple’s memories. “My life these past couple of years have been nothing but truly magical. Ray and I share a deep love that I will cherish in my heart forever. We laughed daily and we were inseparable,” she wrote, “The chemistry was wild in the best way. He was everything in the world to me and we couldn’t get enough of each other. The kind of real love that one dreams of.”
10. Mary Mara
In June, Mary Mara visited her sister in New York but she never thought that it would be the last time they would see each other. The actress passed away after she jumped into a river to exercise in the St. Lawrence River.
The 61-year-old’s body was discovered on June 27 by first responders close to the Canadian border. Investigators later confirmed that foul play was ruled out. “The preliminary investigation suggests the victim drowned while swimming,” they wrote in the statement. “The victim’s body showed no signs of foul play,” adding that “there were no signs of any trauma to Mary’s body when she was found.”
“The Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office performed a post-mortem examination on the decedent and determined that the decedent’s manner of death was an accident, due to asphyxiation, due to warm water drowning,” NYSP Troop D Public Information Officer Jack Keller confirmed.
11. Ivana Trump
The death of the first wife of former POTUS Donald Trump also shocked the showbiz. Ivana Trump was found dead at the bottom of the stairs of her Manhattan home on July 14. She was pronounced dead on the scene and no foul play or criminal activity was suspected. Her death was ruled an accident.
Per the medical examiner, Ivana passed away after experiencing “blunt impact injuries of the torso.” According to sources close to the 73-year-old Czech-American fashion designer, before her sudden passing, her hip had been bothering her to the point where she couldn’t walk.
The Trump family confirmed Ivana’s death in an emotional statement, in which they described the late socialite as “an incredible woman.” The statement read, “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Ivana Trump.” It added, “Ivana Trump was a survivor. She fled from communism and embraced this country. She taught her children about grit and toughness, compassion and determination. She will be dearly missed by her mother, her three children and ten grandchildren.”
12. Shonka Dukureh
Less than a month after making her film debut in Elvis Presley biopic “Elvis“, Shonka Dukureh was found lifeless in her Nashville apartment at the age of 44. On July 21, one of the gospel singer’s children found her unresponsive and went to the apartment of a neighbor, who called 911 shortly before 9:30 A.M.
At the time, police said that no foul play was suspected. According to report from the Davidson County Medical Examiner’s Office, the actress portraying Big Mama Thornton in Austin Butler-starring biopic died from natural causes due to “hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease,” meaning high blood pressure and a thickening of the arteries caused by a buildup of plaque as the contributing factors.
While “Elvis” is the only film credit listed on Shonka’s IMDb page, the actress left quite the legacy behind with that project. Baz Luhrmann, the director of “Elvis”, penned a tribute in her honor, noting, “She was so loved by the entire cast and crew. Underneath all that goodness was a playful human being, funny as hell. I can’t imagine her being in a situation where she wouldn’t connect with those around her.”
13. Anne Heche
Anne Heche died after being involved in a fiery single-car accident in Los Angeles on August 5. After spending several days in a coma, the “Six Days Seven Nights” actress was pronounced dead. Her official cause of death was listed as smoke inhalation and thermal injuries as a result of burns sustained in the crash where she was trapped in her burning car for nearly an hour before being freed by responders.
A new report from medical examiner revealed that the 53-year-old actress tested positive for benzoylecgonine, cocaine, fentanyl and cannabinoids after she crashed her car into a home. However, the substances didn’t seem to play a role in the crash as the medical examiner noted that there was “no evidence of impairment” by illicit drugs at the time of the crash. She also tested negative for alcohol.
It’s also said the presence of both the cannabinoids and benzoylecgonine, an inactive metabolite of cocaine, showed the “Hung” actress used both substances in the past but not on the day of the accident. The fentanyl in her system was determined to have been administered by hospital staff to treat her pain after the crash.
14. Teddy Ray
On August 12, residents in Rancho Mirage, California were horrified by the discovery of a dead body floating in the swimming pool. After a maintenance worker reported their finding to the sheriff, it was later confirmed that it was Teddy Ray.
Teddy passed away at the age of 32. According to officials, the actor and comedian, who was featured on MTV’s “Messyness” and HBO’s “Pause With Sam Jay“, died in an apparent drowning. No signs of foul play were found.
Sadly, Teddy’s passing came just two weeks after his 32nd birthday. Following his shocking death, Comedy Central took to Twitter to share a message on Teddy and his legacy. “Teddy Ray was a hilarious and beloved performer,” the post read, “He’ll be deeply missed by the entire comedy community.”
15. Luke Bell
Six days after being reported missing, Luke Bell was found deceased. The 32-year-old country musician’s body was found by a passerby in a shaded area of a parking structure in Tucson, Arizona.
An autopsy report revealed that Luke died on August 26. According to the documents, he had a lethal amount of fentanyl in his system and suffered arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease at the time of his death. However, the disease was not what caused his death as the medical examiner stated, “In consideration of the known circumstances surrounding this death, the available medical history, and the examination of the remains, the cause of death is ascribed to fentanyl intoxication,” concluding, “the manner of death is accident.”
According to Saving Country Music, Luke was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and his “mental state took a turn for the worse” months prior to his death. In a statement to TMZ, his manager Brian Buchanan said, “Luke fought this as hard as he could, but the disease got the better of him. When he was beating the disease, he was the sweetest and most generous guy. He’s found peace now and there’s some comfort.”
On September 28, firefighters and paramedics were called to the 2900 block of South Chesapeake Ave. after receiving reports about Coolio being unresponsive. They later performed CPR to save his life for 45 minutes but he was then declared dead.
While details about the 59-year-old star’s cause of death were not made available to the public, his manager said that the rapper/actor passed away after suffering an apparent heart attack.
Coolio’s friend Eric Yano, who was left “shocked” by his sudden death, said his friend steered clear of drugs and alcohol and hadn’t heard the star was suffering from any health issues. Eric said, “He would never show up intoxicated or on a different planet like most people. I never saw him drinking. He’d usually have a glass of water. A lot of people would ask to smoke a joint with him but he never smoked,” adding that the last time he saw Coolio, the “Gangsta’s Paradise” star “seemed completely fine.”
17. Leslie Jordan
Hollywood mourned the death of Leslie Jordan on October 24. The beloved actor and comedian passed away at the age of 67 after suffering a medical emergency while driving his BMW.
According to multiple reports, Leslie, known for his iconic role as Beverley Leslie on “Will & Grace”, had been experiencing shortness of breath in the three weeks before his death and was scheduled to see a cardiologist the week after he passed to check out his heart and see if there were any underlying health issues.
Following his passing, the Emmy-winning actor’s agent David Shaul said in a statement, “Not only was he a mega talent and joy to work with, but he provided an emotional sanctuary to the nation at one of its most difficult times. What he lacked in height he made up for in generosity and greatness as a son, brother, artist, comedian, partner and human being. Knowing that he has left the world at the height of both his professional and personal life is the only solace one can have today.”
18. Aaron Carter
Aaron Carter had a bright future ahead of him had he not lost his precious life. The musician and former child star, who was arrested on drug charges twice and sought help at multiple treatment facilities throughout his life, was found dead in his bathtub in his Lancaster, California home on November 5.
A death certificate shows that the 34-year-old star, who rose to fame when he opened for his older brother Nick Carter‘s band the Backstreet Boys on tour, was cremated less than a week after his death. The certificate also indicated that an autopsy was performed. However, the cause of death is deferred, as more tests are needed to determine his cause of death.
According to his manager Taylor Helgeson, Aaron looked “thin, tired and physically frail” in the final days before his tragic death. “He just looked like he needed to be doing anything but working,” the manager claimed. “He looked like he needed to be taking care of him. He didn’t seem okay physically … [but] mentally, he was the most excited I’ve seen him in months. He was very intelligent and he was very conscious of what people wanted to see from him.”
19. Kirstey Alley
Kirstie Alley‘s death also came as a shock to Hollywood and her fans. The 71-year-old Emmy-winning actress passed away on December 5 after losing her brief yet private battle with colon cancer. Announcing her passing were her kids, who posted via Instagram, “We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered.”
The children added in their statement that the “Cheers” star was “surrounded by her closest family” at the time of her passing, and that she “fought with great strength.” It added, “Our mother’s zest and passion for life, her children, grandchildren and her many animals, not to mention her eternal joy of creating, were unparalleled and left us inspired to live life to the fullest just as she did.”
Following her death, “Cheers” stars like Kelsey Grammer and Ted Danson paid tribute to their late castmate. “I always believed grief for a public figure is a private matter,” Kelsey said, “but I will say I loved her.” Ted, meanwhile, remembered Kirstie as “truly brilliant” for her performance on the series.
20. Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss
The latest public figure whose death shocked the entertainment industry was Stephen “tWitch” Boss. The 40-year-old dancer and DJ on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” took his own life on December 13, just days after celebrating his 9th wedding anniversary with his wife Allison Holker. Officials confirmed that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He allegedly shot himself in the bathroom of a motel less than half a mile from his home.
One month before the tragic incident, tWitch said he was hoping to have another child with his wife Allison. In an interview last month, the dancer told “The Jennifer Hudson Show“, “I love the little babies, I love them. It’s a constant conversation,” to which his wife excitedly told host Jennifer Hudson, “I think we would love to start trying for another one.”
Upon learning of tWitch’s death, Ellen DeGeneres described him as her “family” and “pure love and light,” adding that she was heartbroken. Not stopping there, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” team also shared various footage of tWitch on the show to remember his life.
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