When a famous person goes missing, the whole world wants to know what happened. But some high-profile cases are so bizarre that it’s nigh impossible to give the public the answers they’re looking for. From photographers disappearing in the forests of Cambodia to the fate of English explorers sailing through the Americas, here are 20 disappearances that have left everyone scratching their heads for decades.
20. Harold Holt
Back in 1966, Harold Holt was named as Australia’s new prime minister – a position that he would hold for close to two years. But everything changed on the morning of December 17, 1967, when Holt took a dip in the water at Cheviot Beach.
That, you see, was the last that anyone ever saw of Holt. Though it’s believed that the Australian prime minister drowned, his remains were never discovered. And naturally, many suppositions were thrown around after his mysterious disappearance. They ranged from suicidal plots to suggestions that the 59-year-old was actually a secret Chinese spy.
19. Sean Flynn
You’ve all heard of Errol Flynn, right? Well, when his son, Sean, featured in several movies during the 1960s, it looked as though he was following in his father’s footsteps. But as well as appearing on screen, the actor also plied his trade as a photographer. And this is how he ended up in Cambodia in April 1970.
Flynn never returned from that trip, though. Instead, he was forcibly taken by a guerrilla group known as the Khmer Rouge. Now it’s said that the actor and another journalist were possibly killed following a 12-month imprisonment – yet their bodies couldn’t be located. A gravesite was found in 2010, but none of the bones could be linked back to Flynn.
18. Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson made quite the name for himself back in the early 1600s. The English adventurer traveled the Arctic seas in an attempt to find a shortcut between Europe and Asia. And to give you an idea of his fame, New York’s Hudson River and Canada’s Hudson Bay both bear his surname.
But during a particularly problematic journey in 1610, Hudson and his crew got stuck in Canada’s James Bay. Tensions then rose as the wintry conditions took hold. And as the boat finally got ready to return to England in June 1611, the adventurer, his son and seven others were all thrown into a raft by the crew. Sadly, Hudson and his small party were never seen again.
17. Barbara Newhall Follett
Author Barbara Newhall Follett found fame at an extraordinarily young age. Her first book, The House Without Windows, hit the shelves in 1927 when she was just 13 years old. It was lavished with praise at the time, but everything changed for Follett when she turned 16.
Even though Follett had already written a second book by this point, she was forced to become a typist after her dad made off with the family’s money. Then, at the age of 26, she walked out on her partner following a heated row and seemingly vanished into thin air. This happened in 1939, yet the media apparently didn’t get wind of her disappearance for another 27 years.
16. Glenn Miller
Glenn Miller burst onto the music scene as the 1930s were coming to an end. He was a bandleader and soon established himself as a star. Then, as World War II raged on in 1942, Miller joined the United States military. And during his service, he was tasked to front up the Air Force Band.
In December 1944 Miller was tasked with performing for his fellow soldiers in Paris, France. The musician hopped on an aircraft from England – but it never arrived. The plane, it seems, went missing somewhere over the English Channel, and no one could locate any remains. There have been theories about what happened, with one from the Chicago Tribune maintaining that a “faulty carburetor” brought the craft down over the water.
15. Connie Converse
Before the likes of Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell, Connie Converse established herself as one of the first singer-songwriters of modern times. Unfortunately, though, the 1950s saw her struggle to glean much success out of her acoustic sound. And as a result, Converse had abandoned the music industry by 1961.
After that, Converse battled depression for over a decade. But 1974 seemed like a turning point. She reportedly penned some messages to her loved ones about starting afresh somewhere new when she hit 50. The former singer went on to load up her car with all of her belongings, but bizarrely, no one knows where she went or what happened to her next. Converse was never seen again.
14. Patrick McDermott
Patrick McDermott made a career for himself as a cameraman, though he’s probably best known for his relationship with actress Olivia Newton-John. Yes, the pair spent a rather tumultuous decade together. And during this time, McDermott was enduring some financial problems relating to child support from a previous romance.
So what happened? Well, McDermott reportedly went out fishing in California during the summer of 2005. Although the boat came back, it was discovered a few days afterwards that the cameraman hadn’t returned with it. And strangely, he hasn’t been seen since. Did he drown? Or is there some weight to the theory that McDermott was escaping from his financial problems? Either way, the mystery lives on.
13. Rico Harris
Who doesn’t love the Harlem Globetrotters? The exhibition team’s skills and trickery on the court make for exceptionally fun viewing. Rico Harris, you may remember, was a player for the side in 2000. But he only spent a few weeks with them. That’s because he suffered a career-ending cranial injury from a baseball bat attack.
Some 14 years later, Harris appeared to be in a good place. In October 2014 he was set to leave California to join his partner in Seattle, Washington. But first, the former basketball player went back to his old neighborhood to see his family, and he made a return trip the following day. Mysteriously, though, Harris never got there, as his vehicle was later found abandoned in Cache Creek Regional Park. And to this day we still don’t know what happened to him.
12. Ylenia Carrisi
As Al Bano Carrisi and Romina Power’s daughter, Ylenia Carrisi spent much of her life in the Italian limelight. She even tried her hand as an actress and musician during her teenage years. But following a spell in London, England, Carrisi made the decision to go backpacking around the globe – starting with Belize.
So Carrisi set off in the fall of 1993, and by that December she had arrived in New Orleans. She spoke with her clan over the phone on New Year’s Eve in what would heartbreakingly be their final conversation. After that, the Italian starlet was last spotted on January 6, 1994. She vanished without a trace, with her mom fearing that it could’ve been as a result of human trafficking.
11. Michael Rockefeller
As a member of the famous Rockefeller family, Michael Rockefeller had the world at his feet at the start of the 1960s. He enjoyed a lavish upbringing, which might not be too surprising! Then, when he turned 23, the young man decided to travel to New Guinea – unaware of what awaited him.
Rockefeller was reportedly on a barge that tipped over into the Arafura Sea in 1961. Following that, though, no one knows what happened to him. Various stories swirled about his status, with some saying that he had either been devoured by sharks or a nearby tribe. And others even suggested that he’d begun living in the New Guinea wilderness. Sadly, we may never know.
10. Jean Spangler
With the 1940s drawing to a close, Jean Spangler’s acting career seemed to be heading in the right direction. She’d even managed to nab a few uncredited film roles. But in October 1949, after heading out into Los Angeles, California, Spangler vanished without a trace.
Before Spangler disappeared, the actress had said that she was going to see her ex-partner to talk about a child support payment. Yet he claimed to have had no knowledge of these plans. A couple of days on, Spangler’s damaged purse was discovered in the city, which sparked a massive search. In the end, though, no one could find her – even with the aid of a mysterious message written to a person named Kirk.
9. Bison Dele
Brian Williams was a famed basketball player, who lit up the NBA before his retirement at the age of 30. Prior to this decision, he’d wanted to be known as Bison Dele – a name that reflected his family’s two cultures. Anyway, some time later in 2002 Dele hopped aboard a ship with his partner, a captain and his brother in Tahiti.
Apparently, Dele had planned to travel to Hawaii with the crew, but the boat never made it there. His sibling, Miles Dabord, was instead found in Arizona a couple of months afterwards – using checks in his brother’s name. Dabord was apprehended and eventually bailed out, but he killed himself before anyone could ask what had happened to the missing trio.
8. Lord Lucan
The story of Lord Lucan is both mysterious and tragic in equal measure. If you don’t know it, strap yourselves in. Back in 1974 Richard John Bingham – the aforementioned Lord – lost a custody hearing to his wife Veronica. And it is widely believed that he made plans to kill her off the back of the defeat.
Yet those nefarious intentions seemingly led Lucan to kill another woman: the au pair. He mistook Sandra Rivett for Veronica in their poorly-lit cellar. From there, Lucan reportedly located his partner and attacked her too with a pipe. Veronica survived the assault, but the Lord disappeared. And even now – over 40 years later – no one knows his fate.
7. Jim Thompson
While you may not recognize the name, take it from us: Jim Thompson was a big deal in the mid-20th century. He was the man behind the silk industry’s rejuvenation in Thailand. So it should come as no surprise that when he vanished back in 1967, people immediately took notice.
Thompson was in Malaysia when he went missing. It’s believed that he’d gone out for a stroll, yet a search party of over 500 couldn’t locate his whereabouts. Bones were discovered close by nearly two decades later – prompting suggestions that the entrepreneur had been killed in a “hit and run.” Then again, there was no solid proof that the remains were actually his.
6. ‘Sweet Jimmy’ Robinson
Muhammad Ali is arguably the most iconic sportsman to ever live. So, by extension, his opponents have their place in the history books as well. One of them was a man named Jim Robinson – otherwise known as “Sweet Jimmy.” And he shared the ring with Ali back in 1961.
The bout lasted for 94 seconds, and Ali came out on top. But here’s where it gets very interesting. A boxing super-fan was on the lookout for autographs from all of the men who had fought the latter. But while searching for Robinson alongside an ESPN writer, they realized that he was missing. Incredibly, the last known sighting of Sweet Jimmy was in 1979.
5. Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart’s name is pretty much synonymous with the term “famous missing person.” We all recognize it! She was a hugely influential figure in her time – establishing herself as a pilot, writer and designer. But it’s arguably this drive and ambition that led to her disappearance in July 1937.
Earhart and helmsman Fred Noonan wanted to chart an aircraft across all corners of the globe. Yet the pair never completed their mission: they went missing somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. Some believe that the plane plummeted into the water due to a lack of gas. Then again, another rumor suggests that the duo started a new life on the Japanese island of Saipan.
4. Daniel Lind Lagerlöf
Daniel Lind Lagerlöf was arguably one of the more exciting talents to emerge in Swedish cinema at the end of the 1990s. He directed several movies towards the end of the 20th century – alongside some TV work. Yet Lagerlöf’s career was cut all too short in 2011 when he mysteriously disappeared. At the time, he had been gearing up for another shoot.
Specifically, Lagerlöf found himself on a Swedish island and nature reserve called Tjurpannan. Now, here’s where it gets a little weird. This place is fairly treacherous at the best of times, and it seems the director separated himself from his group to look around. Sadly, he never came back.
3. Solomon Northup
If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Solomon Northup penned the book Twelve Years a Slave, which was adapted into a major movie in 2013. Northup’s story is as inspiring as they come, as he finally escaped slavery after getting abducted back in 1841.
Sadly, though, the end of Northup’s tale is shrouded in darkness. While working in Canada in 1857, the author disappeared – never to be heard from again. Was he taken for a second time? Or did he die for spreading his thoughts on ending slavery? No one knows, so Northup’s fate is still up in the air all these years later.
2. Jimmy Hoffa
It could be argued that Jimmy Hoffa is one of the most infamous figures in modern American history. He was in charge of the Teamsters union throughout the 1960s and left the position in 1971. As this was going on, though, Hoffa also allegedly had ties to the criminal underworld.
In the end, Hoffa vanished in Detroit, Michigan, in the summer of 1975. And there has been a lot of speculation over what really happened to him. Yes, even though he’s “presumed dead,” a body was never found. Since then, films like Hoffa and The Irishman have dealt with the mystery – pondering the union man’s eventual fate.
1. Richey Edwards
The Manic Street Preachers have been a musical mainstay since their formation back in 1986. But the band’s lineup today is a little different from what it was at that time. For instance, the group used to have a guitar player called Richey Edwards – up until 1995, when he vanished without a trace.
So what happened? Well, in February that year Edwards was apparently staying in the Embassy Hotel in London, England. He eventually left to go back to his home in Wales, but the guitarist never got there. Instead, his abandoned vehicle was found over 14 days later outside the Welsh capital of Cardiff. And his whereabouts are still a mystery to this day.
Unfortunately, it’s likely that we’ll never know what happened to many of these famous people. But for some celebrity deaths, we’re given all the facts – even the very last words that left their lips. And as you might imagine, what these late stars said on their death beds reveals a lot about their personalities.
People are often fascinated by the concept of last words – especially when they come from beloved celebrities or well respected figures. Yet while sometimes folks manage to achieve the improbable and go out with perfectly timed quips, more often than not the final words of dying people are simple, sad and relatable. So these 40 last utterances – including those from Princess Diana, Farrah Fawcett and Robin Williams – may even make you consider your own mortality. After all, everyone’s gotta go sometime.
40. Steve Jobs
Many malicious rumors have been spread about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ final words. It’s a total fabrication, for instance, that he left behind a “deathbed essay” stating that “non-stop pursuit of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being just like me.” In truth, as his sister Mona stated in a eulogy that was published in The New York Times in October 2011, Jobs’ last words were, “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”
39. John Adams
The last words of former U.S. president John Adams were recorded in a journal by his son. The younger Adams wrote, “About one afternoon [1:00 p.m.], he said, ‘Thomas Jefferson survives,’ but the last word was indistinctly and imperfectly uttered. He spoke no more.” This was a reference to Adams and Jefferson being the only remaining original American revolutionaries still alive at the time. Alas, Adams turned out to be incorrect: Jefferson and Adams both passed away on July 4, 1826. This also happened to be exactly 50 years after the Declaration of Independence came into being.
38. Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain tragically took his own life in April 1994. And in the Nirvana frontman’s suicide note, he concluded, “I don’t have the passion anymore. And so, remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.” That last part, incidentally, is a line from the Neil Young song “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black).” Yet Cobain also left a message for his wife and daughter, saying, “Please keep going, Courtney, for Frances. For her life, which will be so much happier without me. I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU!”
37. James French
Murderer James French’s supposed last words are well known. Apparently, just before being executed via electric chair in 1966, French called out to gathered reporters, “How’s this for your headline? ‘French Fries.’” Yet while French did make that joke to a journalist in the days leading up to his death, they weren’t the convict’s actual final words. In fact, when asked by a prison warden if he had anything to say before his death, French answered, “Everything’s already been said.”
36. Bob Marley
Music legend Bob Marley discovered a malignant melanoma on his toe in 1977, and before long the cancer spread to the rest of his body. The reggae star then tried to fly home to Jamaica, but it turned out that he was too ill to travel. Instead, Marley passed away at the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami on May 11, 1981, at the age of 36. His then 12-year-old son, Ziggy, heard his last statement: “Money can’t buy life.”
35. James Dean
There’s an urban legend surrounding James Dean’s car crash death. Yes, the story goes that his Porsche Spyder, which was nicknamed “Little Bastard,” was actually cursed. But whether riding in a cursed car or not, Dean definitely met his end in that vehicle when it smashed into a Ford Coupe on September 30, 1955. And according to passenger Rolf Wütherich, Dean’s last words were fairly mundane. Just before the crash, the star apparently said of the Coupe’s driver, “That guy’s gotta stop. He’ll see us.”
34. Franklin D. Roosevelt
While Franklin Delano Roosevelt remains the longest serving president of the United States – taking office between 1932 and 1945 – he suffered from a number of serious health problems. The former president had high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, for example, in a time when both of those ailments could not be effectively treated. However, it was a brain haemorrhage that ultimately killed Roosevelt in April 1945 – not long after he had announced, “I have a terrific headache.”
33. James Brown
Godfather of Soul James Brown died of heart failure on Christmas Day in 2006. His manager, Charles Bobbit, was with him at the time, and Bobbit later informed the media of Brown’s last words: “I’m going away tonight.” The musical legend was seemingly correct, too. After all, according to Bobbit, Brown subsequently gave three sighs and then died as a result of congestive heart failure.
32. Humphrey Bogart
For a long time, the last words to be attributed to Humphrey Bogart were, “I should have never switched from scotch to martinis.” It seems, however, that the screen icon almost certainly didn’t make that wisecrack in his final moments. Instead, while dying of throat cancer, Bogart reportedly told his wife, Lauren Bacall, “Goodbye, kid. Hurry back.” This came just before she left to pick up their children from school.
31. Adam Faith
In March 2003 British singer Adam Faith died of a heart attack at the North Staffordshire Hospital in England. Apparently, though, the star didn’t think much of what the facility’s TV had to offer. As has been reported, Faith’s last words were said to have been, “Channel 5 is all s**t, isn’t it? Christ, the crap they put on there. It’s a waste of space.”
30. Michael Jackson
After Michael Jackson died of drug intoxication in 2009, Dr. Conrad Murray went on trial for involuntary manslaughter. Yet before his eventual conviction in 2011, Murray revealed in a documentary Jackson’s last words. Reportedly, Jackson had said, “Let me have some milk.” The “milk” in question had been propofol – a general anesthetic that was ruled to have caused the star’s death.
29. Vic Morrow
Along with young actors Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, Vic Morrow died after a preventable accident on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie. He and the children had been filming a scene with a helicopter when the aircraft plunged to the ground – killing all three of the stars. And according to fellow actor Dick Peabody, Morrow’s last words had been, “I’ve got to be crazy to do this shot. I should’ve asked for a double.” It later transpired that many corners had been cut and many laws disobeyed with regards to on-set safety.
28. Joe DiMaggio
Joe DiMaggio had a complex relationship with Marilyn Monroe – to whom he had briefly been married. He allegedly abused her, in fact, and when Monroe filed for divorce – just nine months after the wedding – it was on the grounds of “mental cruelty.” Yet DiMaggio remained devoted to Monroe even after she died in 1962. For instance, he sent roses to her grave thrice weekly for nigh on two decades. And if the baseball star’s lawyer, Morris Engelberg, is to be believed, DiMaggio’s touching last words were, “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn.”
27. John Barrymore
Stage and screen actor John Barrymore has had some fantastic last words attributed to him. According to popular lore, he said not long before his passing, “Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.” However, biographer and friend Gene Fowler has claimed otherwise. Instead, it seems that Barrymore’s actual last words were to his brother, with the silent film star apparently saying, “You heard me, Mike.”
26. Terry Kath
Chicago’s lead singer, Terry Kath, died due to misadventure in 1978. In fact, the 33-year-old was at a party when he pulled out the pistol that he carried around with him and began playing with it. When a friend asked Kath to put the gun away, however, the star answered, “Don’t worry. It’s not loaded, see?” Then Kath put the weapon to his head, pulled the trigger and killed himself.
25. Chris Farley
Saturday Night Live star Chris Farley battled drug addiction for much of his life. Eventually, though, the fight became too much, and Farley died of an overdose at the age of 33 on December 18, 1997. Before Farley passed away, however, he seemingly paid for the services of a call girl. And she subsequently reported his last known words as, “Please don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me.” It was a very sad ending for a very funny man.
24. Montgomery Clift
Montgomery Clift starred in the 1961 movie The Misfits with Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable – a fact he was reminded of in his final moments. Just before Clift died of a heart attack in July 1966, you see, nurse Lorenzo James asked him if he wanted to watch John Huston’s drama. Clift declared, “Absolutely not!” – and those turned out to be his last words.
23. John F. Kennedy
Just before he was fatally shot, President Kennedy was talking to first lady of Texas Nellie Connally as they rode through Dealey Plaza. And when Connally said, “Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you,” Kennedy replied, “No, you certainly can’t.” Then, moments later, she saw him die from an assassin’s bullet – and American history was changed forever.
22. Marvin Gaye
In April 1984 Marvin Gaye was tragically murdered by his own father. After a heated argument between son and dad, in fact, the Motown legend told his mother, “I’m going to get my things and get out of this house. Father hates me, and I’m never coming back.” Then, moments later, Gaye received a fatal bullet to the heart. The next day, the soul singer would have turned 45.
21. Elvis Presley
Practically everyone knows that Elvis was found dead on the floor of his bathroom. Before that, however, Presley had told his girlfriend Ginger Alden, “I’m going to the bathroom to read.” And when Alden replied, “Don’t fall asleep in there,” he answered, “Okay, I won’t.” But while these were mundane final words, Elvis certainly hadn’t led a mundane life.
20. Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman was a famous theoretical physicist and a quite brilliant man – so it’s reasonable to assume that he had some profound thoughts on the nature of life and death. Yet when Feynman passed away of kidney failure in February 1988 at the age of just 69, he concluded, “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”
19. Bob Hope
Famed comedian Bob Hope must have known that the end was coming for him, as he lived to be an impressive 100 years old. And the star’s grandson later reported that when Hope’s wife, Dolores, asked him on his deathbed where he would like to be buried, Hope had a characteristically witty response: “Surprise me.” In the end, in fact, Hope got an entire purpose-built memorial garden at L.A.’s San Fernando Mission Cemetery.
18. Marie Antoinette
The most famous quote associated with Marie Antoinette is “Let them eat cake” – even though there’s no evidence that she actually ever said it. Yet her final words before her execution are recorded in history as being “Pardonnez-moi, monsieur. Je ne l’ai pas fait exprès” – which translates to “Pardon me, sir. I did not do it on purpose” – after standing on her executioner’s foot.
17. Muhammad Ali
Reportedly, Muhammad Ali drew on his religion just before he died. According to his brother, Rahaman, the boxer’s last words were, “I’m in no pain. No pain. Don’t cry for me, Rahaman. I’m going to be with Allah. I made peace with God. I’m okay.” He then asked, “Rahaman, how do I look?” – and these seem to have been his very final words.
16. John Wayne
It’s fair to say that John Wayne’s legacy has been somewhat tarnished over the years. In particular, the star’s controversial comments in a 1971 Playboy interview – in which Wayne stated, “I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility” – recently sparked a major online backlash. Yet despite these statements, Wayne did seem to love his half-Latino children. When his daughter Aissa asked him on his deathbed if he recognized her, for example, Wayne answered, “Of course I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.” And those were his final words.
15. King George V
King George V – the grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II – died in January 1936. And for a while, rumors persisted that his last words were “Bugger Bognor!” – a reference to the English seaside town where it had been suggested he stay after recovery. However, his actual last words were reportedly the much more noble-sounding, “How is the Empire?” Then, when his secretary assured him, “All is well, sir,” the King smiled and lost consciousness – never to awake.
14. Stan Laurel
Comedy genius Stan Laurel was cracking jokes right up until his death in 1965. Mere minutes before he passed away, in fact, he told a nurse that he would like to go skiing – to which she responded that she had never known that he was a skier. Then Laurel quipped, “I’m not. I’d rather be doing that than this!” It’s little surprise, then, that at Laurel’s funeral Buster Keaton labeled him as the funniest man to have ever lived.
13. Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby may have been internationally famous for singing, acting and comedy, but he was also a serious golfer. And, in fact, Crosby had just finished playing a round when he collapsed and died of a heart attack at the La Moraleja Golf Course in Madrid, Spain, on October 14, 1977. According to those who were there, too, Crosby’s last words were, “That was a great game of golf, fellas.”
12. Lucille Ball
I Love Lucy star Lucille Ball became a changed woman after her ex-husband, Desi Arnaz, passed away at the end of 1986. For although the couple had divorced in 1960, they had continued to stay on good terms until Arnaz’s passing. Ball in fact died less than three years later, on April 26, 1989. Her final words were delivered in a hospital bed. When someone had asked if she needed anything, Ball replied, “My Florida Water” – which was her favorite fragrance.
11. Ian Fleming
James Bond creator Ian Fleming showed an admirable stiff upper lip on his deathbed. On August 12, 1964, the 56-year-old suffered a heart attack and was rushed to hospital in an ambulance. And his last words were a typically polite British apology to the ambulance drivers. Reportedly, Fleming said, “I am sorry to trouble you chaps. I don’t know how you get along so fast with the traffic on the roads these days.”
10. Groucho Marx
The last words often attributed to Groucho Marx are “Die, my dear? Why, that’s the last thing I’ll do!” But while that remark would have been a very fitting parting shot from a comedian, not everyone is convinced that those were his final words. Other sources even have Marx claiming, “This is no way to live” – a more bittersweet but still darkly funny comment.
9. Keith Moon
Keith Moon of The Who may have been a force of nature as a drummer, but he also had a self-destructive streak. On September 7, 1978, for instance, he went out with Paul and Linda McCartney and then returned home with his girlfriend Annette Walter-Lax. Then Moon later asked Walter-Lax to make him a meal, and when she refused he said, “If you don’t like it, you can f**k off!” Those would be the rock legend’s final words, too, as Walter-Lax found him dead of a drug overdose the following day.
8. Debbie Reynolds
Tragically, actress Debbie Reynolds passed away just hours after the death of her daughter, Star Wars star Carrie Fisher. And according to her surviving child, Todd Fisher, the grief was simply too much to take. After the 84-year-old’s death was confirmed on December 29, 2016, Fisher informed the media outside the hospital, “[My mom] said, ‘I want to be with Carrie,’ and then she was gone.”
7. Dimebag Darrell
Darrell Abbott, known in the music scene as “Dimebag” Darrell, was murdered in 2004 by a crazed fan while performing on stage with heavy metal supergroup Damageplan in Ohio. The rock star’s last words were “Van Halen!” – the name he would always say to his brother and co-performer to remind them to rock out during the gig. In the end, too, Eddie Van Halen actually attended Abbott’s funeral and gifted his famous “Bumblebee” guitar to be buried alongside his fallen peer.
6. Diana, Princess of Wales
In 1997 Princess Diana died in a heavily publicized car crash in Paris. It would take 20 years, however, for a French firefighter to reveal to The Sun that he’d heard her last words. These were, reportedly, “My God, what’s happened?” Diana’s sons, William and Harry, have also spoken about her last phone call to them – but have never actually disclosed what she said.
5. Karl Marx
Karl Marx was not one of the Marx Brothers; he was a German revolutionary and famous socialist. But it turned out that this Marx could be pretty funny too. Just before he passed away in March 1883, you see, Marx was asked if he had anything final to say. His response to that question? “Go away! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough!”
4. Steve Irwin
Wildlife expert and popular personality Steve Irwin was killed in a freak stingray attack off the coast of Queensland, Australia, on September 4, 2006. Justin Lyons was a witness to Irwin’s death, and in 2014 the cameraman told Australian TV programme Studio 10 the details of the star’s last moments. He revealed, “He calmly looked up at me and said, ‘I’m dying.’ And that was the last thing he said… those were his final words.”
3. Farrah Fawcett
Actress Farrah Fawcett died of cancer aged 62 in 2009, and her last words were for her son, Redmond. He had been in and out of prison on charges of drug possession and attempted murder, among other things. And Fawcett’s friend Mela Murphy wrote for People that year, revealing, “[Fawcett] was saying his name, ‘Redmond.’ That was the last thing she said… I told her I’d take care of him, that I’ll always be there for him. I said, ‘You can go now.’ It was just a few hours before she died.”
2. Robert F. Kennedy
As anyone with even a passing interest in U.S. history knows, Robert Kennedy tragically met the same fate as his brother John. In June 1968, in fact, Kennedy had just won the California primary – putting him on the path to the presidency. But before he could get any further in the race, Kennedy was shot and killed by Sirhan Sirhan. And immediately after the up-and-coming political star received his fatal wound, he asked, “Is everyone okay?” However, his final words were, “Don’t lift me,” as a medical attendant raised him onto a stretcher.
1. Robin Williams
When beloved actor Robin Williams took his own life in 2014, it came as a shock to many. His wife, Susan, had borne the brunt of his devastating struggle with Lewy body disease, however, and she revealed details of her husband’s battle in a 2016 piece for Neurology. That article also saw Susan reflect on her late spouse’s last night. She said, “When we retired for sleep, in our customary way, my husband said to me, “Goodnight, my love”… His words still echo through my heart today.”