Top 10 List of Untimely Hollywood Tragedies

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6. Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse began playing guitar at age 13 and began writing music material a year later. She began working for a living, and at one time worked as an entertainment journalist for the World Entertainment News Network, in addition to singing with local group the Bolsha Band. Winehouse’s boyfriend at the time, soul singer, Tyler James, sent Amy’s demo tape to Simon Feuller, and she was signed to his record production. When Darcus Breese heard Winehouse’s voice, he became interested in signing her. But because Winehouse was kept a secret, he was not allowed to be told who the woman with the beautiful voice was. It took him several months to find Amy Winehouse’s identity, and when he did, he signed her to his record label.

Amy Winehouse became a star in 2003 when she came out with her first album, “Frank”. She won over her fans with her deep voice and music of Jazz, Blues and R&B generic music. Every song except for two on the album were co-written by Winehouse. The album was a critical success. Next came her second album “Back To Black”. Winehouse was nominated for six Grammy nominations, and won five. This made her the first British artist to win five Grammys, including three of the “Big Four”: Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The album was produced by Mark Ronson, and included songs, “You Know I’m No Good”, Rehab”, and “Love Is A Losing Game”.

Winehouse’s troubles came when she began dating her on and off again boyfriend and future husband, Blake Fielder-Civil. It was him that introduced her to drugs and gave her the first drug she ever tried.I n a June 2007 interview, Winehouse admitted she could sometimes be violent toward him after she had been drinking, saying “if he says one thing I don’t like then I’ll chin him”. That year, photos surfaced the internet showing the couple bruised and bloodied after an alleged fight. Winehouse’s parents and in laws became concerned and at one point, her father in law encouraged fans to boycott her music. While visiting Blake in prison, Blake admitted to Winehouse’s father that they would cut themselves to ease the pain.

Amy Winehouse and Blake Fielder-Civil divorced in 2009, and Winehouse decided to stop using drugs and once said that the whole marriage was based on doing drugs. Soon after, Winehouse began dating Reg Traviss. Although she tried hard to improve her daily living, it proved wrong when Winehouse died on July 23, 2011. It was reported that Traviss was about to propose to her a few weeks later during a vacation. Winehouse’s parents decided to open a rehab centre for those who are suffering from drugs. Winehouse’s third album, “Lioness”, which included recordings of unreleased materials, came out on December 5, 2011, and all proceedings went to the rehab centre her parents opened. Winehouse won another Grammy in 2012 for her duet, “Body and Soul” with Tony Bennett.


7. Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy’s parents divorced when she was only two years old. She was raised by her mother, and was completely estranged from her father. Brittany and her mother decided to move to California so that Brittany could pursue her acting career. “When I asked my mom to move to California, she sold everything and moved out here for me. … She always believed in me.” Murphy always credited her mother for her success. Before moving to California though, Murphy discovered her dreams at the age of four when she started singing lessons, dancing and acting.

Right after she moved, Murphy saw herself on Television having roles on such TV shows as “Frasier”, “Party of Five” and “Boy Meets World”. Murphy then landed roles in films. Her first movie was the teen comedy “Clueless”, which co-starred Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd. She also starred in “Girl, Interrupted”, “Just Married”, “8 Mile” and “Don’t Say a Word”. Murphy also had a chance of showing her singing abilities when she starred in “Happy Feet”, singing Queen’s classic, “Somebody to Love”. What people might have forgotten is that Murphy was in a bad in the early 1990s with Eric Balfour called Blessed Soul.

Murphy had several relationships, such as with Ashton Kutcher and Eminem, as well as several engagements. In 2007, she married Simon Monjack in a Jewish ceremony. Murphy knew her husband for 17 years prior to marrying him. Murphy seemed to be on top of the world with a good career and personal life. But all of it ended on December 20, 2009 when Murphy suddenly died of cardiac arrest at only 32 years old. Her husband died only 5 months later.



8. Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston was born to be a musician. She was born to an entertainment family. Her parents are John Russell Houston, an entertainment executive, and Cissy Houston. Her cousins are Dee Dee Warwick and Dionne Warwick, and her honorary aunt is the legendary Aretha Franklin. Houston began following her mother’s footsteps at the mere age of 11, when started performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she also learned to play the piano. In her teen years, Houston spent performing at nightclubs where her mother would perform.

Houston was offered a record deal in 1980, but her parents insisted that she finish high school. In 1983, however, Gerry Griffith saw her perform, and advised Clive Davis to sign her to Arista Records. Davis agreed without hesitation. Houston’s self titled debut album was released in 1985. It was a great success. Rolling Stone stated Houston was “one of the most exciting new voices in years”, and New York Times called the album “an impressive, musically conservative showcase for an exceptional vocal talent”. All together, Houston released 7 albums throughout her life.

Houston also started her acting career in 1992 with the film “The Bodyguard” co-starring Kevin Costner. The soundtrack for the movie included the hit, “I Will Always Love you”, sung by Houston. It was written and previously performed by the legendary Dolly Parton. Houston’s version was an overnight hit, and it was even reported by Newscast that the song was overplayed on the radio. That was the first time that there was a report on a song being overplayed. Even though the song was a success, Houston won a Razzie Award for her role in the film. The Washington Post stated that Houston was “doing nothing more than playing Houston, comes out largely unscathed if that is possible in so cockamamie an undertaking”.

During that time, Houston married her boyfriend of 3 years, Bobby Brown. They had their daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, in 1993. The marriage proved to be turbulent, as drug abuse had started. Houston said that the drug use was light before “The Bodyguard” and started to get heavy after the movie. In 2003, Brown was on trial for hitting Houston, but she still stood by his side. The couple finally decided to divorce in 2006, after 14 years of marriage. They still, however, stayed on good terms after their divorce.

In 2009, Whitney Houston released her first album in 6 years, “I Look To You”. The album was a success, but Houston’s voice proved to be weaker due to drug and alcohol use. Her performances were weak, and she faced some unappreciative audiences who criticized her. Yet Whitney Houston always put a brave face, despite the challenges.

Houston was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. It was a two day interview, and Houston was very open to Oprah about her challenges and demons. She said she was through the drugs and alcohol, and even performed her song, “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength”. But the statement proved to be wrong when Houston died on February 11, 2012, after being found in a bathtub. She was 48. That same day, Houston was scheduled to attend Clive Davis’ Pre Grammy Awards Party, and talked to her mother and cousin only hours prior to her death. Nothing seemed to be wrong.


9. Jett Travolta

Jett Travolta was never in the entertainment business, but was the son was John Travolta and Kelly Preston. He had autism and suffered seizure attacks from time to time. But he was always a bright, happy, and active person nonetheless. January 2, 2009 was a painful day for the Travolta family. While vacationing at the Bahamas, Jett suffered a deadly seizure attack while he was in the shower, and hit his head while he was in the care of his nanny. He was only sixteen years old. John Travolta and Kelly Preston, along with their daughter, had a hard time getting through the suffering, but had a second son, Benjamin, in November 2010. Kelly Preston was 48 when she gave birth to her third child.


10. Sharon Tate

Sharon Tate was a well known actress, discovered in 1969. She was a beautiful blonde with an amazing figure. After a few television performances, Tate was hailed for her comedic ways, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in “Valley of the Dolls”. In addition to acting, Tate did some modeling for fashion magazines.

When she met her future husband, director, Roman Polanski, neither of them was happy with the other. During a casting for his movie, “The Fearless Vampire Kills”, Polanski originally wanted Jill St. John for the lead part, but agreed to cast Tate only if she wore a red wig. Because Polanski was a perfectionist, and Tate was inexperience, filming proved to be difficult for him. But later, Polanski praised Tate for her growing confidence.

Tate and Polanski began a romantic relationship, and Tate was being very untraditional, for those times anyway, by saying that couples were to live together before marriage. The couple got married in January 1968. Once the two married, Tate began to have less interest I her career, but changed her mind when Polanski said he wanted to be married to a hippie, not a housewife. From then on, she continued to have a continuous career in acting.

The marriage of Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski proved to be short lived when Tate was stabbed to death in her home while Polanski was in London, filming a movie. Her hairstylist, Jay Sebring, tried to defend her during the attack, but died instantly. Sharon Tate was only 26 years old and 8 months pregnant at the time of her death.

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