List of drug-related deaths

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The following is a list of notable people who have died from drug-related causes.

Criteria for inclusion are death from overdose, death from organ-failure/illness due to or exacerbated by drug use, or death from suicide/misadventure under the influence of drugs. Deaths from lethal injection as a form of capital punishment, as well as deaths due to drug-related crime, are not included.


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Herb Abrams1954–1996Wrestling promoterCocaine-related heart attack.[1][2]
Janet Achurch1864–1916ActressMorphine overdose.[3]
Brian Adams1963–2007WrestlerPainkiller overdose. Accidental.[4]
Nick Adams1931–1968ActorBarbiturate overdose. Death officially certified as "accidental-suicidal and undetermined." High levels of sedatives were found in his blood.[5]
Stuart Adamson1958–2001Musician (Big Country)Hanged himself under the influence of alcohol.[6]
Ryūnosuke Akutagawa1892–1927WriterVeronal overdose. Suicide.[7]
Louisa May Alcott1832–1888AuthorDeath commonly attributed to complications from extensive long term mercury poisoning.[8]
Asa A. Allen1911–1970EvangelistLiver failure due to acute alcoholism.[9]
Dennis Allen1951–1987Drug dealerHeart failure. "Pieces of his heart actually broke off after decades of heavy drug abuse."[10]
GG Allin1956–1993MusicianHeroin overdose.[11]
William Barnsley Allen1892–1933Army officerUnspecified narcotic overdose. Accidental.[12]
Pier Angeli1932–1971ActressBarbiturate overdose. Accidental.[13][14]
Matthew Ansara1965–2001ActorHeroin overdose. Accidental.[15]
Chris Antley1966–2000JockeySevere blunt trauma. The coroner's report concluded that Antley had died of a multiple drug overdose and the injuries were likely related to a fall caused by the drugs.[16]
Jean Améry1912–1978WriterSleeping pill overdose. Suicide.[17]
Diane Arbus1923–1971PhotographerConsumed a number of barbiturates and then slit her wrists. Suicide.[18]
Reinaldo Arenas1943–1990PoetOverdosage of unspecified drugs. Suicide.[19]
West Arkeen1960–1997MusicianOpiate overdose. Accidental.[20]
Howard Arkley1951–1999PainterHeroin overdose. Accidental.[21]
Kevyn Aucoin1962–2002Photographer, make-up artistKidney and liver failure due to Tylenol toxicity as a result of a prescription painkiller addiction.[22]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Chet Baker1929–1988Musician, singerFatal fall from a balcony while under the influence of cocaine and heroin.[23][24]
Tom Baker1940–1982ActorHeroin overdose.[25]
Lester Bangs1948–1982Music critic, musicianOverdose of Darvon, Valium and NyQuil.[26]
Barbette1899–1973Trapeze artistUnspecified drug overdose. Suicide.[27]
Robert Barlow1918–1951AuthorOverdose of barbiturates. Suicide.[28]
Sid Barnes1916–1973CricketerBarbiturate and bromide poisoning. Self-administered though intent could not be determined.[29]
Jean-Michel Basquiat1960–1988PainterHeroin overdose.[30]
Michael Carl Baze1987–2011JockeyCocaine and oxymorphone overdose. Accidental.[31]
Scotty Beckett1929–1968Child actorSuspected overdose. Pills and a note were found next to his body. However, the coroner's report was not released.[32]
Steve Bechler1979–2003Baseball pitcherHeatstroke. The coroner indicated that "the toxicity of ephedra played a significant role" among many factors in contributing to his death.[33]
Brendan Behan1923–1964Poet, writerDiabetes exacerbated by his refusal to stop drinking alcohol.[34]
Jovan Belcher1987–2012American football playerSelf-inflicted gunshot wound after murdering girlfriend Kasandra Perkins. Belcher was found to have a blood alcohol level of .17, double the legal limit where he died.[35]
Gertrude Bell1868–1926WriterOverdose of sleeping pills. Whether it was an accident or suicide was undetermined.[36]
John Belushi1949–1982Actor, comedianSpeedball. Accidental.[37]
Jay Bennett1963–2009Guitarist (Wilco)Fentanyl overdose. Accidental.[38]
Wes Berggren1971–1999Musician (Tripping Daisy)Overdose. Traces of cocaine, propoxyphene, and benzodiazepines were found in his body.[39]
George Best1946–2005Football playerLung infection and multiple organ failure brought on by long-term alcoholism.[40][41]
Leah Betts1977–1995StudentExcessive water consumption exacerbated by Ecstasy causing her body to release anti-diuretic hormones.[42]
Len Bias1963–1986Basketball playerCocaine overdose. Accidental.[43]
Big George1957–2011Presenter, broadcasterHeart attack after mephedrone use.[44]
Big Moe1974–2004RapperHeart attack with Purple Drank as a contributing factor.[45]
Bam Bam Bigelow1961–2007WrestlerOverdose. Lethal levels of cocaine and an anxiolytic drug were found in his blood.[46]
Robert Bingham1966–1999WriterHeroin overdose.[47]
Ted Binion1943–1998Gambling executiveHeroin and Xanax overdose. Possible suicide.[48]
Count Gottfried von Bismarck1962–2007AristocratCocaine and morphine overdose.[49]
Walter Patrick Bissell1957–1987Ballet dancerOverdose of cocaine, codeine, methadone and other drugs.[50]
Clara Blandick1880–1962ActressAcute asphyxiation in combination with overdosage of sleeping pills, most likely barbiturates. Euthanasia.[51]
Erica Blasberg1984–2010GolferAsphyxiation and toxic levels of "butalbital, temazepam, alprazolam, codeine, hydrocodone, and tramadol." Suicide.[52]
Mattie Blaylock1850–1888ProstituteOpiate poisoning. Suicide.[53]
Mike Bloomfield1943–1981Blues guitaristUnspecified drug overdose.[54]
Tommy Bolin1951–1976Musician (Deep Purple)Unspecified drug overdose.[55]
John Bonham1948–1980Drummer (Led Zeppelin)Choked on his own vomit after consuming forty shots of vodka.[56]
Derek Boogaard1982–2011Ice hockey playerToxic mix of alcohol and oxycodone. Accidental.[57]
Jennie Bosschieter1882–1900Factory workerOverdose of drugged liquor.[58]
Christopher Bowman1967–2008Former ice skaterOverdose. Traces of cocaine, Valium, alcohol and cannabis were found in his blood. Accidental.[59]
Charles Boyer1899–1978ActorSeconal overdose. Suicide.[60]
Duncan Gordon Boyes1846–1869SoldierDelirium tremens.[61]
Elisa Bridges1973–2002ModelAcute intoxication by the combined effects of heroin, methamphetamine, meperidine and alprazolam.[62][63]
Dianne Brimble1960–2002MotherCombination of gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and alcohol.[64]
Erik Brødreskift1969–1999MusicianOverdose of unspecified pills. Suicide.[65]
Dave Brockie1963–2014Musician (Gwar)Heroin overdose[66]
Branwell Brontë1817–1848Poet, painter, writerTuberculosis aggravated by delerium tremens and opiate abuse.[67]
Lenny Bruce1925–1966ComedianAcute morphine poisoning caused by an accidental overdose.[68]
Julia Bruns1895–1927ActressAlcohol poisoning.[69]
Tim Buckley1947–1975MusicianAcute heroin, morphine and ethanol intoxication due to inhalation and ingestion of overdose.[70]
Richard Burton1925–1984ActorAlcohol-related causes.[71]
Paul Butterfield1942–1987MusicianDrug-related heart failure.[72][73]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Andrés Caicedo1951–1977WriterSecobarbital overdose. Suicide.[74]
Casey Calvert1981–2007Guitarist (Hawthorne Heights)A rare lethal mixture of hydrocodone/APAP, citalopram and clonazepam. Accidental.[75]
Ken Caminiti1963–2004Former baseball player.Cocaine and opiate overdose.[76]
Skip Candelorid. 2002Singer (Turning Point)Unspecified drug overdose.[77]
Max Cantor1959–1991Actor, journalistHeroin overdose.[78]
Truman Capote1924–1984WriterLiver disease complicated by phlebitis and multiple drug intoxication.[79]
Gia Carangi1960–1986ModelAIDS-related complications contracted through intravenous heroin abuse.[80]
Leslie Carter1986–2012SingerWhile not attributing a cause of death, a police incident report stated Carter had suffered an overdose and was taking the prescription medications olanzapine, cyclobenzaprine and alprazolam.[81]
John Cassavetes1929–1989Writer, actor, directorCirrhosis of liver due to alcoholism.[82]
Leonard Chadwick1878–1940SoldierCombination of alcoholism and asphyxiation.[83]
Coco Chanel1883–1971Fashion designerDied of health complications and physical exhaustion exacerbated by years of heroin and opiate abuse.[84]
Vic Chesnutt1964–2009MusicianOverdose of prescription medication. Suicide.[85]
Diana Churchill1909–1963Naval officerBarbiturate overdose. Suicide.[86]
Sally Clark1964–2007SolicitorAlcohol poisoning.[87]
Sonny Clark1931–1963PianistAlcohol abuse; an attempt to counteract his heroin dependency.[88]
Steve Clark1960–1991Musician (Def Leppard)Lethal overdose of codeine along with Valium, morphine and alcohol at more than 3 times the legal British limit. Accidental.[65][89]
Charmian Clift1923–1969WriterUnspecified drug overdose. Suicide.[90]
Kurt Cobain1967–1994MusicianCobain had injected himself with three times the lethal dose of heroin before he committed suicide by gunshot.[91]
Bob Collins1946–2007PoliticianPrescription drug and alcohol overdose. Suicide.[92]
Natasha Collins1973–2008ActressCocaine overdose. Accidental.[93]
Brian Cole1942–1972Musician (The Association)Heroin overdose.[94]
Michael Cooper1941–1973PhotographerHeroin overdose.[95]
Megan Connolly1974–2001ActressHeroin overdose.[96]
Pamela Courson1946–1974Retail. Wife of Jim MorrisonHeroin overdose.[97]
Carl Crack1971–2001Musician (Atari Teenage Riot)Overdose. Alcohol and unspecified pills were found in his stomach.[98]
Darby Crash1958–1980Musician (The Germs)Heroin overdose. Suicide.[99][100]
Tim Crews1961–1993Baseball pitcherCrews was legally drunk when he crashed a boat, killing himself and Steve Olin.[101]
Nancy Crick1932–2002Euthanasia activistOverdose of Nembutal. Euthanasia.[102]
Robbin Crosby1959–2002Musician (Ratt)Reported causes of his death include heroin overdose,[103][104] and AIDS-related complications,[105][106] which he admitted to contracting from shooting drugs.[107]
Bartley Crum1900–1959LawyerWashed down an entire bottle of Seconal with whisky. Suicide.[108]
William Cuppy1884–1949Literary criticSleeping pill overdose. Suicide.[109]
Jackie Curtis1947–1985ActorHeroin overdose.[110]
Patricia Cutts1926–1974ActressBarbiturate overdose. Suicide.[111]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Lin Dai1934–1964ActressSleeping pill overdose combined with gas inhalation.[112]
Dalida1933–1987SingerBarbiturate overdose. Suicide.[113][114]
Jacques Damala1855–1889ActorCocaine and morphine overdose.[115]
Dorothy Dandridge1922–1965Actress, singerOverdose of imipramine. Accidental.[116]
Jesse Ed Davis1944–1988GuitaristHeroin overdose.[117]
Ed Delahanty1867–1903Baseball playerDelahanty was intoxicated when he drowned in Niagara Falls. Whether he fell, jumped or was pushed is debated.[118]
Thierry de la Villehuchet1943–2008BusinessmanSwallowed sleeping pills and slit his left arm. Suicide.[119]
Paul DeMayo1967–2005Former bodybuilderHeroin overdose.[120]
Ted Demme1963–2002DirectorHeart attack. Cocaine was found in his system which the coroner stated may have been a factor in his death. Accidental.[121]
Daniel Deniehy1828–1865Politician"Loss of blood and fits induced by habits of intemperance."[122]
DJ Screw1971–2000MusicianOverdose of codeine and other drugs. Accidental.[123]
Kiki Djan1957–2004MusicianAIDS and narcotic-related complications.[124]
Chris Donald1949–1974MusicianHeroin overdose[125]
Desmond Donnelly1920–1974Politician, journalistBarbiturate and alcohol overdose. Suicide.[126]
Tommy Dorsey1905–1956Jazz musicianChoked to death while sleeping. He was so sedated on sleeping pills that he was unable to awaken.[127]
John Dougherty19??–1997Musician (Flipper)Heroin overdose.[128]
Eric Douglas1958–2004ComedianAcute intoxication by the effects of alcohol, tranquilizers and painkillers.[129]
Nick Drake1948–1974MusicianAntidepressant overdose. Disputed suicide.[130]
Michael Dransfield1948–1973PoetSources report conflicting causes of death, including infection related to drug use and "acute broncho-pneumonia and brain damage".[131][132]
Jonathan Drummond-Webb1959–2004Pediatric heart surgeonUnspecified prescription drug overdose. Suicide.[133]
Kevin DuBrow1955–2007Singer (Quiet Riot)Cocaine overdose. Accidental.[65][134]
Bobby Duncum, Jr.1965–2000WrestlerPrescription painkiller overdose. Accidental.[135][136]
Theresa Duncan1966–2007Video game designerCombined ingestion of Tylenol PM and alcohol. Suicide.[137]
Ryan Dunn1977–2011Actor, stunt manCar crash. Dunn had a blood alcohol level of 0.196%, more than twice the legal limit where he was killed.[138]
Anthony Durante1967–2003WrestlerFentanyl overdose.[139]
Guru Dutt1925–1964ActorOverdose of sleeping pills and alcohol.[140]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Jeanne Eagels1890–1929ActressAlcohol and/or heroin abuse.[141]
John Entwistle1944–2002Musician (The Who)Cocaine-induced heart attack.[142]
Brian Epstein1934–1967Manager of The BeatlesSleeping pill overdose.[143]
Howie Epstein1955–2003Musician (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)Suspected drug overdose. It was reported he took heroin and prescription drugs shortly before his death.[144]
Eyedea1981–2010RapperUnspecified opiate toxicity. Ruled accidental.[145]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Chris Farley1964–1997Comedian, actorCocaine and morphine overdose.[146]
Pete Farndon1952–1983Musician (The Pretenders)Passed out in his bath due to a heroin overdose and subsequently drowned.[147]
Rainer Werner Fassbinder1945–1982Playwright, directorCocaine overdose. Possible suicide.[148]
Brenda Fassie1964–2004SingerInitial press reports cited complications of asthma attack while a later autopsy mentioned "cocaine overdose."[149]
Lolo Ferrari1963–2000Pornographic actressOverdose of prescribed antidepressant drugs.[150]
Errol Flynn1909–1959ActorDied following years of heavy alcohol and drug use. Autopsy stated cause of death was "fatty degeneration of the liver, portal cirrhosis of the liver and diverticulosis of the colon."[151]
Althea Flynt1953–1987Co-publisher of HustlerDrowned in the bath after passing out due to a heroin overdose.[152]
Steve Foley1959–2008DrummerUnspecified drug overdose. Accidental.[153]
Zac Foley1971–2002Musician (EMF)Overdose. Heroin, cocaine, Ecstasy, barbiturates and alcohol were found in his blood.[154][155]
Rosemarie Frankland1943–2000ActressUnspecified prescription drug overdose. Suicide.[156]
Seán Fortune1954–1999PriestOverdose of alcohol and unspecified drugs. Suicide.[157]
Katy French1983–2007Model, socialiteBrain damage most likely caused by cocaine use.[158][159]
Sigmund Freud1856–1939Psychiatrist, neurologistPhysician assisted morphine overdose. Euthanasia.[160]
Gary Frisch1969–2007Website founderJumped from a balcony while under the influence of ketamine. Officially ruled as misadventure.[161][162]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Danny Gans1956–2009Impressionist, entertainerPrescription hydromorphone use combined with pre-existing heart condition. Accidental.[163]
Paul Gardiner1958–1984Musician (Tubeway Army)Heroin overdose.[164]
Judy Garland1922–1969Singer, actressSeconal overdose. Her death certificate states the overdose was "accidental", however, there was speculation it was intentional.[165][166][167]
Gidget Gein1969–2008Musician (Marilyn Manson)Heroin overdose.[168]
George V1865–1936King of Great BritainCocaine and morphine overdose. Euthanasia.[169]
Peaches Geldof1989–2014ActressHeroin overdose.[170]
Lowell George1945–1979Musician (Little Feat)Unspecified drug overdose. Accidental.[171]
Talitha Getty1940–1971ActressHeroin overdose.[172]
Harold Gimblett1914–1978CricketerOverdose of unspecified pills.[173]
Michele Girardon1938–1975ActressOverdose of sleeping pills. Suicide.
Trevor Goddard1962–2003ActorOverdose of heroin, cocaine, Valium and Vicodin. Accidental.[174]
Greg Giraldo1965–2010ComedianOverdose of prescription medication. Accidental.[175]
Dwayne Goettel1964–1995Musician (Skinny Puppy)Heroin overdose.[176]
Adam Goldstein1973–2009Disc JockeyOverdose of cocaine, levamisole, oxycodone, hydrocodone, lorazepam, clonazepam, alprazolam and diphenhydramine. Accidental.[177]
Paul Gray1972–2010Musician (Slipknot)Morphine and fentanyl overdose. Accidental.[178]
Lucy Grealy1963–2002PoetHeroin overdose.[179]
Gribouille1941–1968SingerA lethal combination of medication and alcohol.[180]
Eddie Guerrero1967–2005WrestlerHeart disease, complicated by an enlarged heart resulting from a history of anabolic steroid use.[181]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Clinton Haines1976–1997Computer hackerHeroin overdose. Accidental.[182][183]
Kenneth Halliwell1926–1967ActorPentobarbital overdose. Suicide.[184]
Patrick Hamilton1904–1962WriterCirrhosis of the liver following years of alcoholism.[185]
William Hamilton1805–1865Physicist, astronomer, mathematicianA severe attack of gout precipitated by excessive drinking.[186]
Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf1962–2001EntertainerAdvanced alcoholism and a seizure disorder, complicated by a genetic condition.[187]
Edward A. Hannegan1807–1857SenatorMorphine overdose.[188]
Jeff Hanneman1964–2013Musician (Slayer)Cirrhosis due to alcoholism.[189]
Tony Hancock1924–1968ActorLethal mixture of amphetamines and liquor. Suicide.[190]
Malcolm Hardee1950–2005ComedianDrowned after he fell into the water whilst drunk.[191]
Rashad Harden1979–2014Disc JockeyAccidental overdose of heroin, cocaine, and alprazolam.[192]
James Harden-Hickey1854–1898Author, adventurerMorphine overdose. Suicide.[193]
Tim Hardin1941–1980MusicianHeroin overdose.[194]
Brynn Hartman1958–1998Wife and murderer of comedian Phil HartmanSelf-inflicted gunshot wound to her head under the influence of cocaine, alcohol and Zoloft.[195]
Domino Harvey1969–2005Bounty hunterFentanyl overdose.[196]
Rodney Harvey1967–1998Actor, modelHeroin overdose.[197]
Bobby Hatfield1940–2003Musician (The Righteous Brothers)Cocaine-induced heart attack.[198]
Phyllis Haver1899–1960ActressBarbiturate overdose. Suspected suicide.[199]
James Hayden1953–1983ActorHeroin overdose.[200]
Ira Hayes1923–1955United States Marine"Drank himself to death." The Pinal County coroner concluded that Hayes' death was caused by exposure and alcohol poisoning.[201]
Paul Hayward19??–1992Rugby league playerHeroin overdose.[202]
Mitch Hedberg1968–2005ComedianCocaine and heroin overdose.[203][204]
Tim Hemensley1972–2003Musician (GOD)Heroin overdose.[205]
Margaux Hemingway1954–1996ActressPhenobarbital overdose. Disputed suicide.[206]
Jimi Hendrix1942–1970MusicianRespiratory arrest caused by alcohol and barbiturate overdose and vomit inhalation.[207]
Curt Hennig1958–2003WrestlerCocaine overdose.[208]
James Leo Herlihy1927–1993Novelist, actorOverdose of sleeping pills. Suicide.[209][210]
Gino Hernandez1957–1986WrestlerCocaine overdose.[211]
George Hickenlooper1963–2010Documentary filmmakerOxymorphone and alcohol overdose. Accidental.[212]
Ureli Hill1802–1875ConductorMorphine overdose. Suicide.[213]
Virginia Hill1916–1966Chicago Outfit courierSleeping pill overdose.[214]
Jane Aiken Hodge1917–2009WriterUnspecified drug overdose. Suicide.[215]
Abbie Hoffman1936–1989Political activistPhenobarbital overdose. Suicide.[216]
Philip Seymour Hoffman1967–2014ActorHeroin overdose.[217]
Billie Holiday1915–1959Jazz singerCirrhosis of the liver caused by alcoholism.[218]
Michael Holiday1924–1963SingerUnspecified drug overdose. Suicide.[219]
Crash Holly1971–2003WrestlerCarisoprodol and alcohol intoxication. Suicide.[220]
Gary Holton1952–1985Actor, musicianHeroin overdose.[221]
James Honeyman-Scott1956–1982Musician (the Pretenders)Cocaine-induced heart attack.[222]
Shannon Hoon1967–1995Musician, singer (Blind Melon)Cocaine overdose.[223]
Sebastian Horsley1962–2010ArtistHeroin and cocaine overdose.[224]
Whitney Houston1963–2012Singer, actressAccidental drowning, due to atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use. Toxicology reports showed the acute presence of cocaine indicating use prior to death, as well as sub-therapeutic levels of Benadryl, Flexeril, and Xanax.[225]
Lisa Howard1930–1965ReporterPhenobarbital overdose. Officially listed as suicide but speculated as murder.[226]
Howard Hughes1905–1976Aviator, engineer, industrialist, movie producerLiver failure. Physician administered an overdose of codeine at "the highest clinical level ever recorded" at the time.[227]
Gertrude Hullett1906–1956Patient of Dr. John Bodkin AdamsTwice the fatal dose of sodium barbital was found in her blood.[228]
Harold Hunter1974–2006Skateboarder, actorCocaine-induced heart attack.[229]
Michael Hutchence1960–1997Musician, singer (INXS), actorSelf-induced asphyxiation while under the influence of alcohol, cocaine, Prozac and other prescription drugs.[230]
Phyllis Hyman1949–1995SingerPentobarbital and secobarbital overdose. Suicide.[231]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Fanny Imlay1794–1816WifeLaudanum overdose. Suicide.[232]
Andy Irons1978–2010SurferCardiac arrest. His autopsy lists secondary cause of death as "acute mixed drug ingestion." Traces of cocaine, methamphetamine, alprazolam and methadone were found in his system.[233]
Bruce Edwards Ivins1946–2008MicrobiologistTylenol overdose.[234]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Barnaby Jack1977–2013Hacker, security expertCocaine and prescription drugs.[235]
Jennifer Lyn Jackson1969–2010Playboy PlaymateHeroin overdose.[236]
Michael Jackson1958–2009Pop singerCardiac arrest. His personal physician administered a lethal dose of propofol along with lorazepam, diazepam and midazolam. His death was ruled as homicide.[237]
Peter Jackson1964–1997Rugby league playerHeroin overdose.[238]
Joyce Jameson1932–1987ActressOverdose of unspecified pills. Suicide.[239]
Steven Ronald Jensen1959–2005Musician (The Vandals)Unspecified prescription drug overdose.[240]
Anissa Jones1958–1976ActressOverdose of barbiturates, cocaine, Quaaludes, and PCP. Accidental.[241]
Brian Jones1942–1969Musician (The Rolling Stones)Drowning under the influence of alcohol and drugs.[242]
Chloe Jones1975–2005Pornographic actressPrescription drug overdose. Accidental.[243]
Rob Jones1964–1993Musician (The Wonder Stuff)Sources report contradictory information which include: heart problems,[244] heart attack potentially caused by heroin,[245] or simply "drug-related causes".[246]
Janis Joplin1943–1970MusicianHeroin overdose.[247]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Frida Kahlo1907–1954ArtistOfficial cause of death listed as pulmonary embolism though modern biographers largely accept that she actually died of an unspecified opiate pain killer overdose. Suicide is disputed.[248]
John Kahn1947–1996Musician (Jerry Garcia Band)Heroin overdose.[249]
Chris Kanyon1970–2010WrestlerAntidepressants overdose. Suicide.[250][251]
Phil Katz1962–2000Computer programmerAcute pancreatic bleeding caused by chronic alcoholism.[252]
Chris Kelly1978–2013Rapper (Kris Kross)Fatal overdose, cocaine and heroin[253]
Lisa Robin Kelly1970–2013ActressMultiple drug intoxication[254]
David Kennedy1955–1984University drop-outOverdose of cocaine, Demerol and Mellaril.[255]
Beverly Kenney1932–1960SingerAlcohol and Seconal overdose. Suicide.[256]
Bernard Kettlewell1907–1979Lepidopterist, medical doctorUnspecified drug overdose. Accidental.[257]
David Kelly1944–2003Weapons expertConsumed around 30 dextropropoxyphene pills. Disputed suicide.[258]
Jack Kerouac1922–1969AuthorCirrhosis, caused by a lifetime of heavy drinking.[259][260]
Dorothy Kilgallen1913–1965JournalistFatal combination of alcohol and barbiturates. Whether it was suicide or accidental is undetermined.[261]
Thomas Kinkade1958–2012PainterAcute ethanol and diazepam intoxication.[262]
Arthur Koestler1905–1983AuthorSleeping pill overdose. Suicide.[263]
John Kordic1965–1992Hockey playerUnspecified drug overdose.[264]


NameLifeProfessionCause of DeathReference
Deborah Laake1953–2000WriterOverdose of unspecified pills. Suicide.[265][266]
Alan Ladd1913–1964ActorOverdose of alcohol and three unspecified drugs. Accidental.[267]
Josiah Lamborn1809–1847Attorney GeneralDelirium tremens.[268]
Karen Lancaume1973–2005Pornographic actressTemazepam overdose. Suicide.[269]
Carole Landis1919–1948ActressSeconal overdose. Suicide.[270]
Jani Lane1964–2011Singer-songwriter (Warrant)Alcohol poisoning.[271]
Heath Ledger1979–2008ActorCombined drug intoxication of oxycodone, hydrocodone, alprazolam, diazepam, temazepam and doxylamine. Accidental.[272]
Bruce Lee1940–1973Actor, martial artistAcute cerebral edema due to a reaction to compounds present in the prescription pain killing drug Equagesic.[273]
Gerald Levert1966–2006SingerAcute intoxication of Percocet, Vicodin, Darvocet, Xanax and two antihistamines. Accidental.[274]
Frank X. Leyendecker1877–1924IllustratorHighly suspected morphine overdose. Suicide.[275]
Debbie Linden1961–1997Model, actressHeroin overdose.[276]
Max Linder1883–1925ActorLinder and his wife both drank Veronal, injected morphine and cut open the veins in their arms.[277]
Eugene Lipscomb1931–1963American football playerHeroin overdose.[278]
Athina Livanos1929–1974Heiress, socialiteAcute barbiturate overdose. Debated if whether it was homicide or accidental.[279]
Eugenia Livanos1927–1970Wife of Stavros NiarchosBarbiturate overdose.[280]
Kevin Lloyd1949–1998ActorLloyd was three times over the legal blood alcohol limit for driving when he choked on his own vomit.[281]
Philip Loeb1891–1955ActorSleeping pill overdose. Suicide.[282]
Trinity Loren1964–1998Pornographic actressPrescription painkillers overdose. Possible suicide.[283]
Malcolm Lowry1909–1957Poet, novelistAlcohol and barbiturates. Most likely suicide.[284]
Zoe Tamerlis Lund1962–1999Model, actressCocaine-induced heart attack.[285]
Donyale Luna1945–1979Supermodel, actressUnspecified drug overdose. Accidental.[286]
Frankie Lymon1942–1968SingerHeroin overdose.[287]
Phil Lynott1949–1986Musician (Thin Lizzy)Conflicting sources report various causes of death, including: heart and liver failure,[288] heart failure and pneumonia after a drug overdose,[289] and blood poisoning from heroin addiction.[290]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Billy Mackenzie1957–1997Musician (Associates)Overdose of amitriptyline, paracetamol and other prescription drugs. Suicide.[291]
Liam Maher1968–2009Musician (Flowered Up)Heroin overdose. Accidental.[292]
Chris Mainwaring1965–2007Australian football playerCocaine overdose. Accidental.[293][294]
Bibek Maitra19??–2006PoliticianUnspecified drug overdose.[295]
Jesse Mahelona1983–2009American football playerMotor-vehicle collision. Malehona was under the influence of alcohol.[296]
Thomas Manby1769–1834British naval officerOpium overdose[297]
Richard Manuel1943–1986Singer, musicianSuicide by hanging. Manuel was drunk when he committed suicide and also had traces of cocaine in his body.[298]
Sherri Martel1958–2007WrestlerOverdose of multiple, including high amounts of oxycodone. Accidental.[299]
Adrienne Nicole Martin1983–2010Model, girlfriend of August Busch IVOxycodone overdose. Accidental.[300]
Thalia Massie1911–1963WifeBarbiturate overdose.[301]
Lisa Matsumoto1964–2007Children's authorMotor-vehicle collision. Matsumoto's blood alcohol level was .242, more than 3 times the legal limit.[302]
John Matuszak1950-1989American football player, actorAccidental overdosage of Darvon. Additionally, a nonlethal amount of cocaine was found in the bloodstream.[303]
Billy Mays1958–2009SalespersonHeart disease with cocaine use being a "contributory cause."[304][305]
Joseph McCarthy1908–1957SenatorHepatitis exacerbated by alcoholism.[306][307][308]
David McComb1962–1999Musician (The Triffids)Heroin overdose.[309]
Jimmy McCulloch1953–1979Musician (Wings)Heroin overdose.[310]
Marie McDonald1923–1965ActressUnspecified drug overdose.[311]
Robbie McIntosh1950–1974Musician (Average White Band)Heroin overdose.[312]
Stephen McKeag1970–2000Ulster Defence Association memberCocaine and pain killer overdose.[313]
Marguerite McNamara1928–1978ActressSleeping pill overdose. Suicide.[314]
Lance McNaught1981–2010WrestlerIntoxication from mixed drugs complicated a cardiomyopathy. Accidental.[315]
Aimee Semple McPherson1890–1944EvangelistShock and respiratory failure due to overdose of prescription barbiturates.[316]
Jonathan Melvoin1961–1996KeyboardistHeroin overdose.[317]
Vivien Merchant1929–1982ActressAlcoholism. The coroner stated Merchant "drank herself to death."[318]
Robin Milford1903–1959ComposerAspirin overdose. Suicide.[319]
Mary Millington1945–1979Model, pornographic actressParacetamol overdose. Suicide.[320]
Miss Elizabeth1960–2003Wrestling managerAcute toxicity. Autopsy revealed pain killers, nausea medication and tranquilizers were found in her blood along with an alcohol level of 0.29.[321]
Missy1967–2008Pornographic actressUnspecified prescription drug overdose. Accidental.[322]
Marilyn Monroe1926–1962ActressBarbiturate overdose. Officially listed as "probable suicide" though several conspiracy theories exist.[323]
Cory Monteith1982–2013Actor, musicianMixed drug toxicity including heroin and alcohol.[324]
Keith Moon1946–1978Musician (The Who)Overdose on anti-seizure medication prescribed for alcoholism. Accidental.[325]
Odas Moon1892–1937PilotReportedly "drank himself to death."[326]
Ashleigh Aston Moore1981–2007ActressAlleged drug overdose.[327]
Chester Morris1901–1970ActorBarbiturate overdose.[328]
Jim Morrison1943–1971Musician (The Doors)Official cause of death is recorded as heart failure,[329] though Sam Bernett claims that Morrison died in Bernett's club, with heroin overdose as the suspected cause.[329]
James Mossman1926–1971Journalist, former MI6 agentSleeping pill overdose. Suicide.[330]
Billy Murcia1951–1972Musician (New York Dolls)Contradicting sources report the death as alcohol-related,[331] or drowning[332] after a drug overdose[333] or as a drug overdose.[334]
Brittany Murphy1977–2009ActressCombination of pneumonia, an iron deficiency and "multiple drug intoxication."[335]
Brent Mydland1952–1990Musician (Grateful Dead)Cocaine and morphine overdose.[336]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Yves Navarre1940–1994WriterBarbiturate overdose. Suicide.[337]
Filip Nikolic1974–2009SingerHeart attack induced by sleeping pills.[338]
Bradley Nowell1968–1996Musician (Sublime)Heroin overdose.[339]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Hugh O'Connor1962–1995ActorSuicide under influence of cocaine.[340]
Lani O'Grady1954–2001ActressMultiple drug intoxication. Vicodin and Prozac were found in her bloodstream.[341]
Johnny O'Keefe1935–1978SingerConflicting sources indicate drug overdose,[342][343] or simply heart attack.[344][345]
Pascale Ogier1958–1984ActressUnspecified drug overdose.[346]
Ol' Dirty Bastard1968–2004RapperOverdose of cocaine and tramadol. Accidental.[347]
Christina Onassis1950–1988HeiressPulmonary edema onset by years of prescription drug misuse. Primarily Dexedrine, diet pills and barbiturates.[279]
Alice Ormsby-Gore1952–1995SocialiteHeroin overdose.[348]
Bryan Ottoson1978–2005Musician (American Head Charge)Prescription-drug overdose. Accidental.[65][349]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Leila Pahlavi1970–2001Princess, modelSecobarbital overdose. Found to have five times the lethal amount in her system. Traces of a non-lethal amount of cocaine was also found in the bloodstream. Suicide or accidental death though is debated.[350]
Haley Paige1981–2007Pornographic actressMethadone overdose. Possibly suicide.[351]
Marco Pantani1970–2004CyclistCerebral and pulmonary edema potentially brought on by "tranquilizers, antidepressants and sedatives against a background of prolonged cocaine abuse."[352]
Robert Pastorelli1954–2004ActorHeroin overdose.[353]
Gram Parsons1946–1973Musician (The Byrds)Morphine overdose.[354]
Cesare Pavese1908–1950Poet, novelistConsumed "twelve sachets of sleeping drugs."[355]
Chris Penn1965–2006ActorEnlarged heart through drug use and a high level of codeine.[356]
Christopher Pettiet1976–2000ActorUnspecified drug overdose. Accidental.[357]
Kristen Pfaff1967–1994Musician (Hole)Heroin overdose.[358]
Esther Phillips1935–1984Musician, singerLiver and kidney failure due to long-term drug use.[359]
River Phoenix1970–1993ActorHeroin and cocaine overdose.[360]
Rob Pilatus1965–1998Musician (Milli Vanilli)Prescription drug and alcohol overdose.[361]
Pimp C1973–2007RapperRespiratory depression due to an accidental overdose of promethazine and codeine mixed with a pre-existing medical condition, sleep apnea.[362]
Sylvia Plath1932–1963Author, poetSuicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. Plath was reportedly suffering the adverse effects of an unspecified MAOI antidepressant at the time of her death.[363]
Dana Plato1964–1999ActressVanadom and Lortab overdose. Suicide.[364][365]
Edgar Allan Poe1809–1849PoetCause of death disputed though largely attributed to a combination of laudanum abuse, dipsomania and delerium tremens.[366]
Darrell Porter1952–2002Baseball catcherCocaine overdose.[367]
Elvis Presley1935–1977SingerCardiac arrhythmia. Autopsy founds in his system "significant" levels of ethinamate, methaqualone, codeine and different barbiturates including amobarbital, pentobarbital and phenobarbital.[368]
Dickie Pride1941–1969SingerSleeping pill overdose.[369]
Gary Primich1958–2007SingerAcute heroin intoxication.[370]
Freddie Prinze1954–1977ActorSelf-inflicted gunshot wound while under the influence of methaqualone and alcohol. Initially ruled suicide but later determined accidental.[371]
Promachus???–324 BCESoldierAlcohol poisoning.[372]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Robert Quine1942–2004GuitaristHeroin overdose. Suicide.[373]
Glenn Quinn1970–2002ActorUnspecified drug overdose. Accidental.[374]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Carl Radle1942–1980Bass guitaristKidney infection caused by alcohol and other drugs.[375]
Dee Dee Ramone1951–2002Musician (Ramones)Heroin overdose.[376]
Jay Reatard1980–2010MusicianCocaine toxicity with alcohol as a contributing factor.[377]
Noel Redding1945–2003MusicianShock hemorrhage due to esophageal varices in reaction to cirrhosis of the liver with alcohol as a contributing factor.[378]
Michael Reeves1943–1969Film directorAlcohol and barbiturate overdose.[379]
Wallace Reid1891–1923ActorPrescription morphine overdose.[380]
Elis Regina1945–1982SingerCocaine, alcohol, and temazepam overdose. Accidental.[381]
Willy Rey1949–1973ModelBarbiturate overdose.[382]
Elisabeth Rivers-Bulkeley1924–2006Stock-brokerBarbiturate overdose. Euthanasia.[383]
Brad Renfro1982–2008ActorHeroin and morphine overdose.[384]
Rachel Roberts1927–1980ActressBarbiturate overdose. Suicide.[385]
Don Rogers1962–1986American football playerCocaine-induced heart attack.[386]
Steve Rogers1954–2006Rugby league playerLethal combination of antidepressants and alcohol. Accidental.[387]
Monica Rose1948–1994TV show hostessAntidepressants and tranquilizers overdose. Suicide.[388][389]
Edgar Rosenberg1925–1987Film and television producerValium overdose. Suicide.[390][391]
Alma Rubens1897–1931ActressIllness caused by heroin and cocaine addiction.[392]
Zdenka Rubinstein1911–1961Operatic sopranoSleeping pill overdose. Suicide.[393]
David Ruffin1941–1991Musician (The Temptations)Cocaine overdose.[394]
Frankie Ruiz1958–1998MusicianCirrhosis of the liver due to alcoholism[395]
Gail Russell1924–1961ActressAlcoholism.[396]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
George Sanders1906–1972ActorNembutal overdose. Suicide.[397]
John Saunders1954–1999Musician (Mad Season)Heroin overdose.[398]
Catya Sassoon1968–2002Model, actressHydromorphone and cocaine overdose.[399]
Sonja Savić1961–2008ActressUnspecified drug overdose.[400]
Sybille Schmitz1909–1955ActressSleeping pill overdose. Suicide.[401]
Donald Sinclair1911–1995Veterinary surgeonBarbiturate overdose. Suicide.[402]
Bon Scott1946–1980Musician (AC/DC)Official cause of death listed as "acute alcohol poisoning."[403]
Ronnie Scott1927–1996Jazz tenor saxophonistPrescription barbiturate overdose. Accidental.[404]
Pat Screen1943–1994American football playerUnspecified drug overdose.[405]
Rod Scurry1956–1992Baseball pitcherCocaine-induced heart attack.[406]
Jean Seberg1938–1979ActressBarbiturate and alcohol overdose. Suicide.[407]
Chantal Sébire1955–2008TeacherPentobarbital overdose. Euthanasia.[408]
Edie Sedgwick1943–1971ActressBarbiturate and alcohol overdose. Undetermined.[409]
Bobby Sheehan1968–1999Musician (Blues Traveler)Unspecified drug overdose.[410]
Eric Show1956–1994Baseball playerCocaine and heroin overdose.[411]
Elizabeth Siddal1829–1862Model, poet, artistLaudanum overdose.[412]
Judee Sill1944–1979MusicianCocaine and heroin overdose.[413]
Don Simpson1943–1996Film producerCocaine-induced heart attack. Twenty other drugs were found in his blood.[414]
Tom Simpson1937–1967CyclistDehydration and exhaustion while cycling exacerbated by amphetamines and alcohol use.[415]
The Singing Nun1933–1985NunOverdose of barbiturates and alcohol. Suicide.[416][417]
Hillel Slovak1962–1988Musician (Red Hot Chili Peppers)Heroin overdose.[418]
Alvim Smith1798–1823Carpenter's assistantMercury(I) chloride overdose. Officially administered to cure bilious colic; speculated murder.[419]
Anna Nicole Smith1967–2007Playboy playmate, modelLethal combination of chloral hydrate and various benzodiazepines.[420]
Daniel Smith1986–2006StudentCardiac dysrhythmia caused by combination of methadone, Lexapro and Zoloft.[421]
Dash Snow1981–2009ArtistHeroin overdose.[422]
Robert Soblen1900–1962PsychiatristBarbiturate overdose.[423]
Socrates469–399 BCEPhilosopherHemlock poisoning. Executed.[424]
Erin Spanevello1987–2008ModelOverdose of MDMA and GHB.[425][426]
Louie Spicolli1971–1998WrestlerConflicting sources indicate drug overdose[427] while some indicate coronary disease that might have been impacted by drug use.[428]
Layne Staley1967–2002Musician (Alice in Chains)Cocaine, heroin and codeine overdose.[429]
Mike Starr1966–2011Musician (Alice in Chains)Suspected drug overdose.[430]
Joey Stefano1968–1994Pornographic actorCocaine, morphine, heroin and ketamine overdose.[431][432]
Miroslava Stern1926–1955ActressOverdose of sleeping pills. Suicide.[433]
Carl Steven1974–2011ActorHeroin overdose.[434]
Inger Stevens1934–1970ActressBarbiturate overdose. Suicide.[435]
Rory Storm1939–1972MusicianAlcohol and sleeping pill overdose.[436]
Margaret Sullavan1909–1960ActressBarbiturate overdose. Suicide.[437]
James Owen Sullivan1981–2009Musician (Avenged Sevenfold)Acute polydrug intoxication due to combined effects of oxycodone, oxymorphone, diazepam, nordiazepam and ethanol.[438]
Paige Summers1976–2003Pornographic actressCodeine and oxycodone overdose.[439]
Royce Surdam1835–1891Real-estate agentLaudanum overdose. Accidental.[440]
Jennifer Syme1972–2001ActressCrashed her car while under the influence of cocaine, clonazepam and cyclobenzaprine.[441][442]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Warren Tartaglia1944–1965Jazz musicianHeroin overdose.[443]
Chase Tatum1973–2008Former wrestlerApparent drug overdose following years of addiction to painkillers.[444]
Vinnie Taylor1949–1974Musician (Sha Na Na)Unspecified drug overdose.[445]
Sara Teasdale1884–1933PoetSleeping pill overdose. Suicide.[446]
Tempe Girl ?-2002Unidentified decedentCocaine overdose. Accidental.[447]
Test1975–2009WrestlerOxycodone overdose. Accidental.[448]
Gary Thain1948–1975Musician (Uriah Heep)Respiratory failure due to heroin overdose.[449]
John Thompson1938–1976PoetOverdose of barbiturates and alcohol.[450]
Jotie T'Hooft1956–1977PoetUnspecified drug overdose.[451]
Johnny Thunders1952–1991Musician (New York Dolls)Conflicting sources report heroin overdose[452] or methadone and cocaine poisoning[453] or that the autopsy did not disclose a cause of death.[454]
Georg Trakl1887–1914PoetCocaine overdose. Suicide.[455]
Chögyam Trungpa1939–1987Buddhist meditation masterCardiac arrest exacerbated by heavy alcohol use.[456]
Amy Tryon1970–2012EquestrianOxycodone, diphenhydramine, alprazolam, lorazepam, diazepam and temazepam overdose. Accidental.[457]
Alan Turing1912–1954Computer scientist, mathematicianCyanide poisoning. Disputed suicide.[458]
D. M. Turner1962–1996AuthorDrowned in a bathtub while under the influence of ketamine.[459]
Ike Turner1931–2007Musician, producerCocaine overdose with high blood pressure and emphysema as contributing factors.[460]
Dick Twardzik1931–1955Jazz pianistHeroin overdose.[461][462]
Helen Twelvetrees1908–1958ActressUnspecified drug overdose. Suicide.[463]
John Tyndall1820–1893PhysicistOverdose of chloral hydrate. Accidental.[464]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Dorothy Uhnak1930–2006AuthorUnspecified drug overdose. Suicide.[465]
Umaga1973–2009WrestlerAcute toxicity due to combined effects of hydrocodone, carisoprodol, and diazepam. Accidental.[466]
Stu Ungar1953–1998Poker playerHeart condition caused by long-term cocaine abuse.[467]
Enrique Urquijo1960–1999SingerUnspecified drug overdose.[468]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Luna Vachon1962–2010WrestlerOverdose of oxycodone and benzodiazepines. Accidental.[469]
Paul Vaessen1961–2001Former footballerUnspecified drug overdose.[470]
Brandon Vedas1981–2003Computer expertMultiple drug overdose, including alcohol, cannabis, psilocybin mushroom, clonazepam, temazepam, methadone, hydrocodone and propanolol.[471][472]
Lupe Vélez1908–1944ActressSecobarbital overdose. Suicide.[473]
Michael VerMeulen1956–1995Magazine editorCocaine overdose.[474]
Jon Vincent1962–2000Pornographic actorHeroin overdose.[475]
Sid Vicious1957–1979Musician (Sex Pistols)Heroin overdose. Suicide.[476]
Mike Von Erich1964–1987WrestlerTranquilizer overdose. Suicide.[477]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Marie Walcamp1894–1936ActressPainkiller overdose. Suicide.[478]
Robert Walker1918–1951ActorReaction to a sedative administered by his doctor.[479]
Stephen Ward1912–1963Osteopathic physicianSleeping pill overdose. Officially suicide. Speculated murder.[480]
Dinah Washington1924–1963SingerSecobarbital and amobarbital (Tuinal) overdose.[481]
Dave Waymer1958–1993American football playerCocaine-induced heart attack.[482][483]
Mikey Welsh1971–2011Musician (Weezer)Suspected drug overdose.[484]
Daniel Webster1782–1852StatesmanCerebral hemorrhage caused by a blow to the head and complicated by alcohol-induced cirrhosis of the liver.[485]
Assia Wevill1927–1969PoetSuicide by acute carbon monoxide poisoning combined with an overdosage of hypnotics. She also sedated and murdered her four year old daughter in this process.[486]
Willie Wilde1852–1899JournalistComplications related to his alcoholism.[487]
Ellen Wilkinson1891–1947PoliticianBarbiturate overdose.[488]
Hank Williams1923–1953Singer, writerOverdose of morphine and alcohol. Accidental.[489]
Kenneth Williams1926–1988Actor, authorBarbiturate overdose. It was not possible to establish whether his death was suicide or accidental.[490][491]
Alan Wilson1943–1970Musician (Canned Heat)Barbiturate overdose. Manner of death determined as accidental by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office. Speculated by some to be suicide.[492]
Amy Winehouse1983–2011Singer-songwriterAlcohol poisoning.[493]
Sheree Winton1935–1976Singer-songwriterAlcohol poisoning.[494]
Rachel Whitear1979–2000StudentHeroin overdose. Accidental.[495]
Brett Whiteley1939–1992ArtistHeroin overdose.[496]
Grant Withers1905–1959ActorSleeping pill overdose. Suicide.[497]
Keith Whitley1954–1989SingerAlcohol poisoning.[498]
Linda Wong1951–1987Pornographic actressOverdose of Xanax, chloral hydrate and alcohol.[499]
Andrew Wood1966–1990Singer (Mother Love Bone)Heroin overdose.[500]
Anna Wood1980–1995StudentWater intoxication secondary to use of MDMA.[501][502]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Paula Yates1959–2000TV presenter, authorHeroin overdose. Accidental.[503]
Kelly Yeomans1984–1997StudentCo-proxamol overdose. Suicide.[504][505]


NameLifeProfessionCause of deathReference
Stefan Zweig1881–1942PlaywrightSleeping pill overdose. Suicide.[506]

See also[edit]


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