America is plagued by tragic addiction — and it often seems that Hollywood celebrity drug overdoses are at the heart of the problem! An alarming number of celebrities have overdosed over the years on heroin, cocaine, and other illicit substances. The lucky ones — such as Demi Lovato, Shelley Long, Lamar Odom, and Brooke Mueller — survive to get before the cameras another day. Sadly, there’s also a decades-long line of doomed stars who succumbed to fatal overdoses…
RIVER PHOENIX (Aug. 23, 1970 – Oct. 31, 1993) was set to become one of the most-respected film stars of the 1990s — but the former child star’s career came to a sudden end as he convulsed outside of the Hollywood hipster enclave known as The Viper Room. Club owner Johnny Depp was among the witnesses who saw his friend die, with River’s drug dealer later revealing the tragic secrets of the four-year binge leading to River’s overdose.
PRINCE (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) came to a tragic end at his Paisley Park complex in Minnesota — and his death turned into a police investigation after cops began to unearth his massive drug stash. The reclusive rock star had once boasted of subsisting on “angel food,” and hid his destructive habits by licking on drug-laced lollipops. Police finally announced they wouldn’t investigate Prince’s drug sources, although insiders blamed the star’s death on a Chinese drug cartel selling deadly fake medications.
ELVIS PRESLEY (Jan. 8, 1935 – Aug. 16, 1977) died with 14 different drugs in his system — although the cause of his death has remained a topic of debate over the years. Nobody denied The King’s reliance on his dope-dealing crony “Dr. Nick,” however. Priscilla Presley also blames drugs for her ex-husband’s demise, saying: “People go, well, ‘Why didn’t anyone do anything?…People there in the inner group did, but you did not tell Elvis Presley what to do.”
ROBERT PASTORELLI (June 21, 1954 – March 8, 2004) won’t be part of the “Murphy Brown” reunion — and some sources claim that the actor cheated justice with an “accidental” suicide after the violent death of his girlfriend! The busy actor officially died of an accidental heroin overdose. Law enforcement insiders, however, said cops were getting ready to arrest him for the “suicide” of Charemon Jonovich!
TOM PETTY (Oct. 20, 1950 – Oct. 2, 2017) looked in great shape while on a world tour — but The National ENQUIRER caught the rocker looking rickety just as he struggled through a series of final shows at the Hollywood Bowl. Plenty of insiders were still shocked to discover that the “Breakdown” singer had covered up his drug dependency. After his sudden death, an autopsy found that the star died of an accidental overdose of oxycodone, Fentanyl, emazepam, alprazolam, citalopram — plus acetyl fentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl.
JOHN BELUSHI (Jan. 24, 1949 – March 5, 1982) became the first casualty of the drug-fueled antics behind the scenes at “Saturday Night Live.” The beloved funnyman had broken out big as a movie star, but also had a big appetite for consuming massive amounts of cocaine. Then he moved on to heroin, with drug dealer Cathy Smith revealing secrets of his horrific final night of partying in Hollywood.
CHRIS FARLEY (Feb. 15, 1964 – Dec. 18, 1997) later continued the tradition of “Saturday Night Live” stars turning to drugs in the face of fame. And, just like with Belushi, his tragic demise in December 1997 turned into a police investigation after it was learned that a woman had witnessed the struggling star’s final drug-fueled hours. A Chicago prostitute later admitted that she had left Chris alone in his apartment as he began overdosing on cocaine and morphine.
HEATH LEDGER (April 4, 1979 – Jan. 22, 2008) was found dead in his $23,000-a-month rental apartment in NYC, with the 28-year-old Australian actor having just finished filming his role as The Joker in the Batman movie “The Dark Night.” Ledger would later win an Oscar for his amazing work as the comic-book villain — months after an autopsy revealed that he’d died from an accidental overdose of oxycodone, hydrocodone, alprazolam, diazepam, temazepam and doxylamine.
WHITNEY HOUSTON (Aug. 9, 1963 – Feb. 11, 2012) endured a tragic and troubled career that culminated with her drug-dazed death in a Beverly Hills bathtub — as a police report cited several sightings nearby of a “a white powdery substance.” An autopsy would later determine that she’d died from an accidental overdose of cocaine just hours before attending a Grammys party hosted by her concerned mentor Clive Davis.
LISA ROBIN KELLY (March 5, 1970 – Aug. 15, 2013) had found fame on “That 70’s Show” as sexy college student Laurie Forman. Tragically, she was also an alcoholic trapped in an abusive marriage, and had wrecked her career over several incidents of bizarre behavior. Lisa was in a rehab facility to treat her drinking problem when she died from “multiple drug intoxication.”
MARILYN MONROE (June 1, 1926 – Aug. 5, 1962) is another showbiz legend whose death has sparked decades of controversy. Even old showbiz pals like Debbie Reynolds went public to say that they believed the screen goddess was murdered — with theories blaming everyone from the CIA to the Mafia to the powerful Kennedy clan. There was still no denying that the troubled actress had grown dependent on drugs, making it easier for the coroner to officially rule that Marilyn died from an overdose of barbiturates.
GLENN QUINN (May 28, 1970 – Dec. 3, 2002) was quickly flagged as a rising star when he joined “Roseanne” as the husband of TV daughter Becky Conner. Quinn then co-starred with David Boreanaz on the hit supernatural drama “Angel” — but his character was soon killed off as insiders reported he’d become unreliable. The 32-year-old star was crashing on a friend’s couch when he was found dead from a heroin overdose.
CORY MONTEITH (May 11, 1982 – July 13, 2013) was set to be the breakout star on “Glee” when the show became a surprise hit for the FOX network in 2009. The busy actor’s career came to a sudden end, however, when Cory died at 31 years old from what was later ruled as a “mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol.” Cory had been in rehab for substance addiction just four months before.
JUDY GARLAND (June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969) was raised on pills while working as a child star on the sordid sets of classic Hollywood movies. Sadly, the beloved actress and entertainer carried those addictions into adulthood. Judy also suffered from a series of abusive relationships — with actor George Hamilton revealing that she’d made an earlier suicide attempt before she died from an overdose of barbiturates.
CHYNA (Dec. 27, 1969 – April 20, 2016) won over plenty of young fans as the biggest female star in world of professional wrestling. The troubled performer was struggling after she left the WWE, though. The built beauty went from a Playboy photo shoot to a career in hardcore pornography. She was found dead from mixing alcohol and prescription drugs — having starred in her final adult films as The She-Hulk in porn parodies of comic-book movies.
DANA PLATO (Nov. 7, 1964 – May 8, 1999) enjoyed a long run starring as clean-cut Kimberly Drummond on “Diff’rent Strokes.” Behind the scenes, however, Dana was getting high on Valium, cocaine, marijuana and alcohol. The bisexual ex-star burned through her money and was arrested for robbing a video store in 1991. A coroner ruled that she had committed suicide by overdosing on pills after Dana’s body was found on May 8, 1999 — one day after a bizarre final interview on Howard Stern’s radio show.
GEORGE MICHAEL (June 25, 1963 – Dec. 25, 2016) officially died a natural death on Christmas Day — but the coroner’s ruling also noted how his body had suffered from a lifetime of alcohol and drug abuse. The “Faith” singer’s cousin has also claimed that George had shot up methadone just two days before dying. Andros Georgiouand also accused pals of giving George other narcotics “to last him through Christmas Day.”
MICHAEL JACKSON (Aug. 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) died in a cloud of controversy over his bizarre personal life — but his personal physician would end up doing time over the King of Pop’s death. A coroner ruled that Michael’s shocking surprise death on June 25, 2009 was the result of an overdose of lorazepam and propofol. The drugs had been given to him by Dr. Conrad Murray, who later served two years in prison on charges of involuntary manslaughter.
BRITTANY MURPHY (Nov. 10, 1977 – Dec. 20, 2009) was another rising star whose career came to a quick end over talk of bad behavior on the set. She spent 13 years as the voice of “Luanne Platter” on the FOX show “King of the Hill,” but couldn’t maintain her leading lady status after movies including “Don’t Say a Word” and “8 Mile.” Brittany was also rumored to be burning through money when she died in Dec. 2009 at age 32. The cause of death was pneumonia, plus a secondary factor of “multiple drug intoxication.”
BOBBY HATFIELD (Aug. 10, 1940 – Nov. 5, 2003) left Bill Medley as a solo act after the Righteous Brothers singer’s death at 63 years old. The hit ’60s act had reunited after the 1990 film “Ghost” brought their classic “Unchained Melody” back to the top of the pop charts. A concert in Kalamazoo, Mich., was canceled after his body was found in his hotel room, with a toxicology report concluding that a cocaine overdose had strained his already-weakened heart.
SCOTT WEILAND (Oct. 27, 1967 – Dec. 3, 2015) had already surprised fans by living to 48 years old when he died on his tour bus in Bloomington, Minn. The singer was a notorious heroin addict throughout his years fronting Stone Temple Pilots, but later claimed to have gotten sober while singing for hit act Velvet Revolver. He had been on a solo tour marred by bizarre stage antics before finally overdosing on cocaine and amphetamines.
IKE TURNER (Nov. 5, 1931 – Dec. 12, 2007) drew a huge crowd of admirers after he passed away — despite being notorious for brutally beating his onetime wife and stage partner Tina Turner. Music legends like Little Richard and Phil Spector still showed up to celebrate the rocker’s life. Ike died at the age of 76, as well, so few of the mourners suspected that the volatile rocker and bluesman had died from a cocaine overdose.