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Home Deaths of Famous People

Deaths of Famous People

Charmian Carr and Lewy Body Dementia

Just about everyone has heard her sing "I am Sixteen, Going on Seventeen" as Liesl, the eldest daughter of Captain Georg von Trapp in the film The Sound of Music. The song is about the first love of a 16 year old girl. In real life, she was a college student who had never been in any movie and her first audition for anything got her accepted for the part of Liesl because she was 21 and looked like she was 16.

Gregg Allman and Liver Cancer

Gregg Allman was a very famous musician, singer and songwriter who, together with his brother, founded The Allman Brothers Band, one of the top bands in America in the late 1960s and the 1970s. He wrote and played top hit songs including "Midnight Rider," "Melissa," “Whipping Post," "Trouble No More," "Blue Sky," "Ramblin’ Man" and "Dreams."

Humphrey Bogart’s Fatal Lifestyle

Humphrey Bogart was one of Hollywood’s most famous actors. In 1942, he starred in Casablanca, which won the 1943 Academy Award for Best Picture, got him nominated for Best Actor and made him the highest paid actor up to that time, with an income of more than $460,000 a year. As a high school student he was expelled from the prestigious Phillips Academy (Andover) for smoking and drinking, and he continued these harmful habits for the rest of his life.

Neal Boyd, AGT Winner, Dead at 42

Neal E. Boyd was a kid who grew up in poverty in the tiny mid-western town of Sikeston, Missouri, and was raised by a loving single mother. From there he followed a path that eventually led him to win a million dollars and the 2008 national title on America's Got Talent.

Penny Marshall, Death by Diabetes

This is the story of a brilliant and highly successful lady who thought that she was stupid, incompetent and unattractive. Penny Marshall was an outstanding actress, director and producer. In the 1970s, she received three nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy for playing Laverne DeFazio in the sitcom Laverne & Shirley.

Reverend Billy Graham, a Long and Fruitful Life

Billy Graham came from relative poverty, milking cows and plowing fields on a family dairy farm near Charlotte, NC, to become a Southern Baptist minister and the best-known North American evangelist of the 20th century. He hosted his huge crusades from 1947 until his retirement in 2005, and reached an even wider audience through television and radio broadcasts.

Rich Piana: Why Do So Many Bodybuilders Die Young?

In August 2017, the world-famous body builder Rich Piana collapsed from a heart attack while his girlfriend was giving him a haircut. He died after two weeks in a medically-induced coma, at the age of 46. A search of his apartment revealed more than 20 bottles of steroids.

Eva Peron and Cervical Cancer

From 1945 to 1952, Eva Peron was the wife of Juan Peron, the most powerful man in Argentina. When she first met him, he was a general who seized the dictatorship of the country. She was the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman and his mistress.

Johnny Cash, the Man in Black

Johnny Cash wrote more than 1500 country songs and became America's most famous country singer. His fans included every president in his lifetime from Richard Nixon on, and almost everyone recognizes his voice.

Sinead O’Connor’s Fibromyalgia

Sinead O'Connor is an Irish singer and songwriter who became famous in the late 1980s and has been a strong moralist, speaking out against war and against the abuse of women and children. Her career has been interrupted by bipolar disorder and fibromyalgia. In the spring of 2012, she appeared on...

Roger Ailes and Hemophilia

Seventy-seven-year-old Roger Ailes had hemophilia, a genetic inability to clot normally, so when he fell at his home on May 10, 2017, and hit his head, he bled into his brain which caused a subdural hematoma. The massive bleeding and tremendous pressure squashed his brain and killed him eight days later.

Phyllis George and Polycythemia Rubra Vera

Phyllis George was named “Miss Texas” at age 21 in 1970, quickly followed by winning "Miss America." At age 25, She became famous as the most prominent woman is sports broadcasting, co-hosting the National Football league’s weekly pregame show with Brent Musburger, Irv Cross and Jimmy the Greek.

Rachel Carson: Is Breast Cancer an Environmental Disease?

Rachel Carson was an environmental scientist and writer who alerted the world to the health dangers of pesticides and fertilizers. Her best-selling book, Silent Spring, led to formation of a presidential commission that recommended banning DDT, and to creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 1964, she died of breast cancer.

Famous Stents: Bill Clinton and George Bush

Bill Clinton: In 2004, former President Clinton had a quadruple bypass operation that did not require stents and did not increase risk for clotting. In February, 2010, he had chest pain and tests showed that his heart muscle was not getting the blood it needed, so doctors opened up the arteries leading to...

Gwen Ifill and Uterine Cancer

On November 14, 2016, Gwen Ifill, a noted American journalist, television newscaster and author, died at age 61 of uterine cancer. She was a political analyst who was featured on Public Television's Washington Week and PBS NewsHour, and moderated the 2004 and 2008 American vice-presidential debates.

What Killed President Andrew Jackson?

Andrew Jackson was the seventh president of the United States (1829-1837), the first who was brought up in poverty and the first not to come from either Massachusetts or Virginia. He certainly was one of the toughest presidents who ever lived.

Jack Lemmon, American Icon

Jack Lemmon was an actor who starred in more than 60 films, won two Academy Awards and was nominated eight times. He was born into a wealthy but abusive family and died at age 76 from complications of colon cancer that had spread to his bladder.

Simon Ramo Did Everything Right

On June, 27, 2016, aerospace pioneer Simon Ramo died at 103 years of age. His quality of life never deteriorated with old age. He played tennis regularly on his seven-acre estate in Beverly Hills.

Eugene O’Neill’s Guilt and Death

When you were in school, you may have read some of Eugene O’Neill’s more than 50 plays, such as Long Day's Journey into Night, Desire Under the Elms, or A Moon for the Misbegotten. He was the only American playwright to ever win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Jim Fixx, Running Guru

I couldn't believe that running guru Jim Fixx had died of a heart attack at age 52 after his daily run in Hardwick, Vermont. He was the guy who made running popular, healthful, and desirable. He sold more than a million copies of his book The Complete Book of Running, published in 1977. He was a close friend and had been a guest on my radio show.

Wilt Chamberlain’s Heart Attack

Wilt Chamberlain was possibly the greatest basketball player and the greatest athlete ever. The 63-year-old Wilt Chamberlain was reported to have died of a heart attack.

Lydia Pinkham and Black Cohosh

Lydia Pinkham’s black cohosh tonic was one of the top selling patent medicines back in 1875, almost 150 years ago, and today many women still buy it to treat their hot flushes of menopause, even though it has been largely discredited by the medical community.  One double-blind study showed that it is no more effective for controlling menopausal hot flushes than a placebo sugar pill.

Kirk Douglas: 23 Years of Rehabilitation After a Stroke

Kirk Douglas, who died at 103 on February 5, 2020, was one of the 20th century’s most famous actors. He starred in more than 90 movies and earned three Academy Award nominations, received a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981 from President Jimmy Carter, and an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement in 1996.

John Nash: A Beautiful Mind Dies

On May 23, 2015, John Nash and his wife were killed while riding in a taxi on the New Jersey Turnpike. The driver hit a guardrail and another car, and the Nashes, who were not wearing seatbelts, were thrown from the taxi. John Nash was 86 and Alicia Nash was 83. Nash...

Cass Elliot: Young Death from Morbid Obesity

Cass Elliot was “Mama Cass”, the close-to-300 pound contralto lead singer of The Mamas and Papas, a dominant folk rock vocal group in the late 1960s. They sold more than 40 million records, with six of their albums making it to the Billboard top ten.

John Enders, Vaccine Pioneer

The year 2020 will be remembered for the incredible ground-breaking research leading to vaccines to prevent COVID-19, which may progress to new vaccines that will prevent almost any known viral infection in humans, even though they do not contain any weakened or living virus. The same techniques are likely to be used to prevent...

Gerty Cori’s Nobel Prize

Gerty Cori was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, in 1947, for the discovery of how muscles covert sugar to lactic acid for energy during exercise and how the lactic acid then travels in the bloodstream to the liver where it is converted back to sugar for...

Gustav Born: Innovations after Hiroshima

Gustav Born was a physician and pharmacologist who taught the world about blood clotting. In 1945, he was posted as a British army doctor in Hiroshima, and noticed that most of the survivors of the atomic bomb suffered from chronic bleeding. He demonstrated that exposure to radiation destroys the body's platelets to cause the bleeding and laid the basics for treatment of bleeding and clotting disorders, some of which are still used today.

W. Barry Wood, Scholar-Athlete

Barry Wood won 10 varsity letters from 1929 to 1931 as one of Harvard’s greatest athletes ever, and was the last Harvard player to be named All-American in football at the time when Harvard football teams played the University of Texas, University of Michigan and some of the other best teams in the country.

Mozart’s Sore Throat

In 1791, arguably the world’s most gifted composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, died at the very young age of 35. His death was rumored to have been caused by poisoning by Antonio Salieri, a court composer in Austria who was jealous of Mozart’s great talent and success. In 1823, 22 years after Mozart’s death, Salieri, who...