45+ Last Known Photos of Celebrities Before They Died
Celebrities live most of their life in the limelight. Cameras will capture the best parts and worst parts of their lives, and the images will be displayed for everyone to see…in newspapers, magazines, on T.V.
The general public have a strange obsession with fame and celebrities.
With cameras following their every move, at some point, someone will capture the last photo of a celebrity before they meet their maker…sometimes expectedly due to illness, and sometimes unexpectedly.
In homage to icons of film, sport, music and politics, we have put together a list of last photos known to be taken of celebrities before their death.
It serves as a reminder that life is short, and death unavoidable. These people’s legacies will live on for a long time after they’re gone! Make sure you leave some good behind to be remembered by!
30. Steve Jobs
This is one of the last known photos taken of Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple.
Steve died on October 5th, 2011 at his home in California.
He dies due to complications arising from a relapse of his previously treated pancreatic cancer.
His family were at his side as he passed away, and he finals words were said to be, “oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.”[adunit mobile=”RTK_z9hm”]
Jobs is buried in an unmarked grave at Alta Mesa Memorial Park.
Apple, Microsoft and all Disney properties flew their flags at half-staff in respect of Steve following his death.
29. Carrie Fisher
This is the last photo of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, taken by a fan the day before she boarded a flight from London to Los Angeles.
Carrie suffered a heart attack on board and passed away in hospital four days later, on December 27th 2016.
Fisher’s daughter, Billy Lourd, confirmed her mother’s death in a statement to the press.
On January 9th, 2017, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health issued a death certificate for Fisher.
It stated “cardia arrest/deferred” as her cause of death.
The day after Fisher’s death, her mother, Debbie Reynolds, suffered at stroke at the home of her son, Todd, where they were planning Fisher’s funeral arrangements. She died later that afternoon.
28. Amy Winehouse
This photo of Amy Winehouse, taken near her home in Camden, was taken on July 12th 2011, 11 days prior to her death.
Amy had drunk two bottles of vodka on the night of her death, and was watching YouTube videos of herself in her room.
The coroner’s inquest reached a verdict of accidental alcohol poisoning.
Winehouse’s blood alcohol content was found to be more than five times the legal drink-drive limit.
Amy also suffered from several eating disorders, including bulimia.
There was a massive outpouring of grief after Amy’s death.
27. Chester Bennington
This photo of a smiling and seemingly, on the outside, happy Chester Bennington was taken only days before his death.
Chester was a singer/songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist for Linkin Park.
Bennington was found dead at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California on July 20th, 2017.
His death was ruled as a suicide. Mike Sinonda confirmed the singer’s death on Twitter.
He wrote: “Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one.”
Bennington’s death occurred on what would have been Chris Cornell’s 53rd birthday. Cornell was a close fried of Bennington who committed suicide two months prior.
26. Marilyn Monroe
This photo shows Marilyn Monroe and jazz pianist Buddy Greco in August, 1962. It was taken only days before her death.
She was found passed in her Los Angeles home by her psychiatrist.
The actress and singer had experienced several various mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and chronic insomnia.
Her death was ruled as a probable suicide due to the large quantities of barbiturates she had taken.
She had also previously attempted to overdose and had been prone to mood swings and suicidal thoughts.
Monroe’s unexpected death was front-page news in the US and Europe. It was said that the suicide rate in Los Angeles doubled the month after she died.
25. Martin Luther King
This photos shows the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. standing with other civil rights leaders on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
It was taken on the 3rd April, 1968. Only one day later, Luther King was assassinated in approximately the same place by James Earl Ray.
There are many conspiracies surrounding the assassination.
This photo was taken directly after the shooting, and shows Martin on the ground.
He was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where doctors opened his chest and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
He never regained consciousness. Martin Luther King Jr. was pronounced dead at 7.05 p.m on 4th April, 1968.
24. John F. Kennedy
This is the last known photograph taken of U.S President, John F. Kennedy, before his assassination in Dallas on November 22nd, 1963.
Lee Harvey Oswald, former U.S Marine, was charged with the President’s death, which he denied.
Oswald himself was shot and killed soon after, whilst being escorted towards an armoured car.
The case has led to many conspiracies surrounding the president’s death.
One mystery surrounding the death is that of the ‘Babushka Lady,’ a mysterious woman seen supposedly filming the moment he was assassinated.
She has never been identified and her footage, if she had any, has never been found.
23. Michael Jackson
This photo of Michael Jackson was taken during the rehearsal of his upcoming sold out shows.
It was taken only two days before his death. Jackson suffered a cardiac arrest after a case of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication.
It happened at his home in Los Angeles on June 25th, 2009.
After failed attempts to resuscitate him, he was pronounced dead in a nearby hospital.
Jackson’s personal assistant was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 and served a two-year prison sentence.
Jackson was about to embark on a series of comeback concerts to over one million people at London’s O2 Arena from July 2009 to March 2010.
22. Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball was an American actress, comedian, model and studio executive.
She was the star of the self-produced sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy and Life with Lucy.
On April 18th 1989, Ball was at her Beverly Hills home when she began complaining of chest pains.
She was taken to hospital and was diagnosed with dissecting aortic aneurysm, for which she underwent heart surgery.
She began recovering well, even walking around her room with little assistance, but on April 26th, Ball awoke with severe back pain and lost consciousness. Doctors were never able to revive her, and her death was pronounced at 5:47 am.
The last photo of her was taken on March 29th, 1989, at the Academy Awards.
21. Whitney Houston
The last photo of singer/songwriter Whitney Houston, was taken two days before her death.
She is seen leaving Tru Hollywood club on February 9th 2012.
On February 11th, Houston was found unconscious in Suite 434 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, submerged in a bathtub.
Toxicology results revealed the presence of prescription and non-prescription drugs in her system.
Her death was ruled as accidental drowning.
The singer was only 48 years old when she passed away.
20. Elvis Presley
This photo of the King of Rock was taken at Graceland in the early hours of August 16th, 1977.
Presley had just visited the dentist. Later that day, Presley suffered a heart attack and died in his bathroom.
He had complications due to a drug habit, which caused his heart to be weakened.
Presley suffered from a rang of health issues due to his hedonistic lifestyle.
This included drug abuse and also an indulgent diet, with Presley piling on the pounds in his later year.
After his death, then President Jimmy Carter issued a statement that credited Presley with having “permanently changed the face of American popular culture.”
19. Diana, Princess Of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris, 1997.
She had been staying at the Ritz hotel with her then-lover, Dodi Al-Fayed.
Her car was speeding through the tunnel, trying to get away from paparazzi, who were riding on motorbikes.
In this last known photograph of her, she is seen in the vehicle looking back at the pursuing photographers.
Seconds afterwards, the driver of the car lost control and crashed into a pillar.
Diana was critically injured and died later than morning in hospital.
18. Freddie Mercury
This is one of the last photos taken of Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury, taken in 1991.
Until the very end of his life, Mercury denied the rumours that he suffered from AIDS.
Just the day before his death, Mercury released the following statement:
“Following the enormous conjecture in the press over the last two weeks, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS.”
“I felt it correct to keep this information private to date to protect the privacy of those around me. However, the time has come now for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and I hope that everyone will join with me, my doctors and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease.”
“My privacy has always been very special to me and I am famous for my lack of interviews. Please understand this policy will continue.” Less than 24 hours later, Mercury died from bronchopneumonia, bought on as a complication of AIDS.
This photo of Purple Rain singer, Prince, was taken outside a Walgreens pharmacy near his home in Minnesota.
Prince spent his final hours on Earth alone at home.
He was discovered unconscious in an elevator more than thirteen hours after he was last seen alive.
The singer died from an accidental overdose of the opioid pain medicine, Fentanyl.
It is not thought it was a suicide and there were no signs of foul play.
Following his autopsy, his remains were cremated and he ashes placed into a custom, 3D printed urn shaped like the Paisley Park estate.
16. David Bowie
David Bowie’s last public appearance was at the premiere of his musical, ‘Lazarus,’ at the Theatre Workshop in New York.
The singer has been battling liver cancer for over a year, and was aware that it was terminal.
His final album, ‘Blackstar’ was full of references to death, and in the lyrics, he appears to have accepted and come to terms with his own mortality.
Bowie died on the 10th January 2016 at his home in Catskill.
His death came only two days after the release of his twenty-fifth studio album, Blackstar.
Many applauded Bowie as being one of the most influential musical artists of all time.
15. Alan Rickman
The last photo of Alan Rickman shows him looking well and healthy.
Unbeknownst to the public, the Harry Potter actor had been diagnosed with terminal Pancreatic cancer in August 2015.
He kept his battle private until his death on the 14th January 2016.
Not long after his death, Harry Potter fans created a memorial under the “Platform 9 3/4” sign at London King’s Cross station.
His death came only four days after that of Bowie’s, and Rickman was similarly compared with making a huge impact in the world of Performing Arts.
Alan had just completed voice work for the Alice and Wonderland sequel Through The Looking Glass, as the butterfly Absolem.
14. Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto was a politician who served as Prime Minister for Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and then again from 1993 to 1996.
She was the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim majority nation.
Bhutto has been campaigning ahead of elections to be held in January 2008.
On December 27th, 2007, she was riding in a bullet-proof car and was stood out of the sun roof greeting crowds.
Bhutto was fatally injured when a man standing near the car opened fire on her.
He then detonated a suicide vest. It is thought Bhutto died from the initial gunshots.
13. Joan Rivers
This photo of comedian Joan Rivers was taken the night before she underwent a surgery for a minor throat procedure.
On August 28th, 2014, Rivers stopped breathing whilst undergoing the operation.
Investigations concluded that the clinic had made a number of mistakes and that her death was preventable.
Investigators said that a number of mistakes were made both before and during the procedure.
Among those include the clinic’s failure to respond to Rivers’ deteriorating vital sings, including drop in blood pressure and administering an incorrect anaesthetic dosage.
A malpractice lawsuit was filed in 2015 which settled for an undisclosed amount and the doctors accepting responsibility.
12. Margaret Thatcher
This photo of Margaret Thatcher was taken at her 87th birthday dinner in October 2012.
On April 8th, 2013, she died of a stroke. The ex Prime Minister, Britain’s first woman Prime Minister, had been in poor health for several years prior.
She suffered a series of smaller strokes in 2002 which led her to have dementia and retire from public life.
Thatcher was honoured with a ceremonial funeral.
It cost around £3.6 million in total, with £3.1 million of it being spent on security.
It was also notable for being attended by the reigning monarch, Elizabeth 2nd. The only other Prime Minister’s funeral she has attended was that of Winston Churchill’s.
11. Robin Williams
This photo of Robin Williams and his monkey Crystal was posted to his Instagram on his birthday, 20 days before he died.
Williams had been misdiagnosed with having Parkinson’s Disease.
He actually suffered from a type of dementia.
The dementia led to severe paranoia in the days before his death.
The popular comedy actor, known for his performances such as Mrs Doubtfire, died from hanging at the age of 63.
He died on August 11th, 2014.
10. John Lennon
This is a photo of Beetles singer, John Lennon, signing an album for Mark David Chapman.
It’s not unusual for celebrities to sign albums for their fans, but in this instance, the fan in question would, only hours later, be the one to kill Lemmon.
After signing the album for him, Lennon reportedly asked ‘is this all you want?’
Chapman smiled and nodded in agreement.
Four hours later, as Lennon was returning from a recording studio, Chapman dropped onto one knee and fired five bullets into Lennon’s back from close range. Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital not long after.
Chapman killed Lennon after becoming angry at Lennon saying The Beatles were bigger than Jesus.
9. Heath Ledger
This photo of Heath Ledger was taken on the set of his last film, ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.’
It was to be Ledger’s last film role, after previously playing The Joker in Chris Nolan’s Batman movies.
Just a few days after this photo was taken, Ledger was found dead in his New York apartment.
He suffered an accidental overdose from prescription medicine.
Ledger died on 22nd January, 2008.
Ledger’s death was voted 2008’s top entertainment story by US newspaper and broadcast editors surveyed by The Associated Press.
8. Muhammed Ali
Muhammed Ali was perhaps one of the greatest boxers of all time, famous for his phrase ‘float like butterfly, sting like a bee.’
This photo of the sportsman was taken on May 22nd, 2016 by his daughter Hana.
Ali was hospitalised on the 2nd June with a respiratory illness.
Although his condition was described as ‘fair,’ it worsened and he died the following day from septic shock.
The boxer had suffered the effects of Parkinson’s disease since 1984.
Despite this, he remained active in civic and political causes.
7. Anne Frank
Anne Frank is famed for her diary, which she kept during the Second World War.
This is one of the last known images of her alive, alongside her sister, Margot.
The Franks manage to evade capture by moving into a three-story space entered from a landing above the Opekta offices in Amsterdam.
On the morning of the 4th August, 1944, Anne Frank’s hiding place was stormed by the SS and the families who lived there were arrested.
They were taken to concentration camps, where they were all separated.
Anne died in March 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
6. James Dean
This is the last photo of James Dean, taken at a gas station the day that he died.
Dean was a very enthusiastic racer who loved to race cars.
Dean died after he crashed the Porsche in the photo, taken on September 30th, 1955.
He swerved to avoid an oncoming car.
Strangely, when Dean introduced himself to the British actor, Alec Guinness, he asked him to take a look at the car.
Rather eerily, Guinness said the car appeared ‘sinister’ and told Dean “If you get in that car, you will be found dead in it by this time next week.” This encounter happened seven days before Dean’s death.
5. Leonard Cohen
This photo of Hallelujah singer, Leonard Cohen, was taken on the 13th October, 2016 at the launch of his final album ‘You Want it Darker.’
Cohen died on the 7th November, at the age of 82 at his home in Los Angeles.
Leukaemia was a contributing cause, but according to his manager, Cohen’s death was the result of a fall at his home.
His death wasn’t announced until 10th November, the same day as his funeral.
It was Cohen’s wish to be laid to rest with a Jewish rite, in a simple pine casket.
The city of Montreal held a tribute concert to Cohen in December 2016 called “God is Alive, Magic is Afoot.”
4. Bob Marley
This photo was taken of Bob Marley in Munich, Germany, a few months before he died of cancer.
Marley passed away on 11th May, 1981.
At the time of his death, the singer only weighed 35 kilograms.
Marley had a dark pigment melanoma, which was a rare form of skin cancer.
It began under his toe and quickly spread throughout his body, leading to his passing.
He defied doctor’s advice to have his toe removed, citing religious beliefs and the inability to perform.
3. Paul Walker
This is the last known photo of Fast and Furious star, Paul Walker, taken as he was leaving a charity event.
Only moments later, the red Porsche, driving by Roger Rodas, crashed into a concrete lamp post.
Upon impact, the car caught fire and killed both Rodger and Paul.
An investigation into the crash concluded that the car was travelling at about 80 mph.
This, combined with the age of the tyres, were the primary reason behind the crash.
Paul had to be subsequently written out of the Fast and Furious franchise.
2. Kurt Cobain
This photo was taken from a Nirvana photo shoot.
It was taken about five months before Cobain died.
It was the last formal photo shoot Nirvana did before Cobain took his life, aged 27.
Kurt was found with high concentrations of heroin and traces of diazepam in his body.
The singer also had a history of addiction and depression.
He died on April 5th 1994 after having shot himself at his home in Seattle.
1. Mitch Lucker
Mitch Lucker was an American signer, best known for being the lead singer for the American deathcore band ‘Suicide Silence.’
This photo was posted by Mitch on his instagram account, showing him dressed as a skeleton for Halloween.
He captioned the photo ‘The dead are living…’
Hauntingly, Mitch died two hours later after sustaining injuries during a motorcycle accident.
It occurred in the early hours of November 1st, 2012, the morning after Halloween.
Thanks for reading! If you found this article interesting, be sure to share with friends and family!