Most shocking celebrity deaths

Last updated 14:07 12/08/2014

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The apparent suicide of Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams has shocked the world, but sadly, he is one of many celebrities to have gone too soon.

Heath Ledger
The Australian-born star of blockbuster hits A Knight's Tale, Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight died in 2008 from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. He was 28 years old. He left behind a daughter, Matilda, whom he had with actress Michelle Williams. He was awarded a posthumous Oscar for his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman
After many years battling drug addiction, the critically acclaimed actor died of an accidental drug overdose in February this year. The 46-year-old was found in his bathroom with a syringe in his arm and 65 full bags of heroin in the apartment. He had three young children with long term partner Mimi O'Donnell.

Whitney Houston
On the eve of the 2012 Grammy Awards, the 48-year-old singer was found slumped unconscious in the bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. She was supposed to have attended Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party. The coroner ruled the death to be an accidental drowning, with cocaine use and heart disease contributing factors. She left behind a daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, her only child with husband Bobby Brown.

Brittany Murphy
The Clueless and 8 Mile actress collapsed in her bathroom in 2009 and died shortly after being taken to hospital at age 32. Her husband, Simon Monjack, died a year later. While a coroner ruled the causes of the pair's deaths to be pneumonia and anaemia, there was speculation they had been killed by toxic mold in their home, and another theory suggested they were deliberately poisoned.

Paul Walker
The Fast and the Furious star died in a car crash caused by speed in November last year. Walker was a passenger in the car, which was being driven by his friend. Fast & Furious 7, which Walker had been in the middle of filming at the time of his death, will screen in April next year and will mark his final onscreen appearance. He was 40 years old.

Cory Monteith
Best known for his role as the singing jock Finn Hudson on Glee, fans of the 31-year-old were shocked when news of his death broke in July last year. Despite being known for his clean cut image, the Canadian actor had struggled with substance abuse from a young age. He died in a Vancouver hotel room from an accidental overdose of heroin mixed with alcohol. His onscreen and off-screen girlfriend Lea Michele was left devastated by his death.

Amy Winehouse
The English singer died of alcohol poisoning in 2011 after years of substance abuse, which inspired her 2006 hit single Rehab. Her bodyguard called an ambulance when he discovered her lying on her bed, not breathing. She was pronounced dead at the scene, and became a member of the "27 Club" - musicians who died at the age of 27.

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James Gandolfini
Best known on TV as Tony Soprano, the 51-year-old Emmy award-winner died in June last year of a heart attack. He had been on holiday in Rome and was found unconscious on the bathroom floor of his hotel by his 13-year-old son Michael. He also had a baby daughter, Liliana, to second wife Deborah Lin.

Peaches Geldof
Bob Geldof's daughter was found dead at the age 25 in her Kent home in April this year. The cause of her death was the same as her mother, Paula Yates, who died in 2000 - a heroin overdose. She left behind two young sons, Astala and Phaedra, and husband Thomas Cohen.

Michael Jackson
The King of Pop died in 2009 at the age of 50. His personal physician, Conrad Murray, said he had entered Jackson's room and found he was not breathing. After trying unsuccessfully to revive him, he got security to call 911. The coroner ruled Jackson's death as a homicide due to a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs. Murray served a two-year jail sentence for administering the drugs.

- Stuff

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