It’s hard enough for celebrities to live their lives under the white-hot glare of the press, and even more difficult with the omnipresence of social media. The bill payment for fame becomes even more onerous when the child of a star dies too soon. As the recent passing of Elvis Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie, reminds us, it is still sad when the offspring of a star dies suddenly even after their celebrity parent is gone.
24/7 Tempo has compiled a partial list of celebrities whose children died tragically, using sources such as Billboard and IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon, as well as various newspaper websites.
Eight of the children on this list passed away at the age of 4 or younger. Three of them died by drowning – Aaren Simpson (daughter of O.J. Simpson), Lou Costello Jr. (son of the comedian), and Christopher Quinn (son of actor Anthony Quinn).
The kids of television luminaries Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore, and Johnny Carson all died violently. Children of Nick Cannon, Prince, and Charlie Chaplin died before their first birthdays from brain cancer, a rare genetic disorder, and possible birth defects, respectively. (These are 30 famous people who died on their birthdays.)
Singer Dean Martin and comedian Jerry Lewis comprised one of the most successful comedy tandems of all time and were one of entertainment’s biggest acts in the 1950s – and each lost a son. Martin’s boy perished in a plane crash, while Lewis’s youngest son, Joseph, likely died from a drug overdose.
Click here to read more about celebrities who suffered the tragic loss of a child
Academy Award recognition was of little solace to Regina King, Marlon Brando, and Paul Newman, all of whom lost children either by suicide or drug overdose. Rock ‘n’ roll legends Eric Clapton and Robert Plant each lost sons at an early age, and each singer dealt with their tragedy by writing songs in memory of their deceased children. (These are the musicians with the most emotionally diverse songs.)
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