Popular Celebrities We Lost In 2018Published on November 28, 2018. Updated November 10, 2019
With 2018 quickly wrapping up, it is time to take a look back at the year that has past and there is no denying it was a tough one in Hollywood. Fans, friends, and family unfortunately had to say goodbye to many beloved stars. While many of these stars had long and successful lives before their passing, some other deaths took everyone by surprise, and the shock caused even more grief and sadness. From accidental overdoses, to suicides, to courageous battles with illnesses, here are the most shocking celebrity deaths of 2018.
20. Stan Lee
Despite living a long and very successful life before he passed away on November 12, 2018, Stan Lee’s death was still a huge shock as fans had come to think of him to be just as invincible as many of the iconic Marvel characters he had created. Lee died at the age of 95 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The beloved comic creator had previously battled pneumonia earlier in the year and was experiencing worsening health as he aged. In late November it was revealed that Lee died of heart failure and respiratory failure but his death certificate also revealed that he suffered aspiration pneumonia — which is when food, stomach acid or saliva is inhaled into the lungs.
19. Aretha Franklin
Iconic singer Aretha Franklin was one of the biggest losses of 2018 following a rapid deterioration in her health. Although the Queen of Soul had struggled with health issues for years, it came as a surprise when outlets began to report that Franklin’s health had taken a turn for the worse and her death was imminent. Her publicist confirmed on August 16, 2018 that the singer had passed away. Although the singer denied she was battling cancer, it was reported that her death was from advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. She was 76 at the time of her death.
18. Mark Salling
The death of former Glee actor Mark Salling was one of the most shocking due to the circumstances around his death. Salling died of an apparent suicide by hanging on January 30, 2018 at the age of 35. His death came shortly before he was due to appear in court to be sentenced after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography the previous year and was expected to serve four to seven years in jail.
17. DuShon Monique Brown
The death of actress DuShon Monique Brown was incredibly shocking when she passed away on March 23, 2018 at only 49 years old. Brown, who was best known for her role as Connie through six seasons of Chicago Fire, had checked herself into the hospital earlier in the week because of chest pain but was released shortly after. She died later that week. It was later confirmed that Brown had died as the result of sepsis along with obesity and high blood pressure.
16. Stephen Hawking
2018 marked one of the biggest losses in the world when renowned physicist Stephen Hawking passed away on March 14, 2018 at the age of 76. “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world,” his children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, with first wife Jane said in the statement.
15. Dolores O’Riordan
The world was shocked when the death of The Cranberries frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan was announced on January 15, 2018. O’Riordan was only 46 years old when she was found dead in her London Hilton on Park Lane hotel room while in London for a recording session. It was later ruled that the singer died as a result of an accidental drowning in a bathtub due to sedation by alcohol intoxication. O’Riordan is survived by her three children, 20-year-old son Taylor, 16-year-old daughter Molly and 12-year-old daughter Dakota.
14. Burt Reynolds
Although he was 82 years old, no one was expecting the death of iconic star Burt Reynolds when it was announced on September 6, 2018. “My uncle was not just a movie icon; he was a generous, passionate and sensitive man who was dedicated to his family, friends, fans and acting students,” Reynolds’ niece, Nancy Lee Hess, said in a statement following Reynolds’ passing. The icon died from a heart attack at the Jupiter Medical Center in Jupiter, Florida and a private memorial service for the star was held in North Palm Beach, Florida.
13. Joel Taylor
2018 saw the loss of a couple of former Discovery Channel stars, including the sudden death of Storm Chasers star Joel Taylor. Taylor was only 38 years old when he died on January 23, 2018 while aboard a cruise ship in San Juan, Puerto Rico. An autopsy report revealed that Taylor had died due to a fatal mix of drugs in his system as MDMA, Zolpidem and MDA were all found in his system at the time of his death. “We are so saddened to hear about Joel’s passing. We will always remember him fondly as an incredible meteorologist and driver of ‘The Dominator.’ Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time,” the Discovery Channel said in a statement about Taylor’s passing.
12. Harry Anderson
Popular actor Harry Anderson, who was best known for his role as Harry T. Stone in the NBC series Night Court, passed away suddenly on April 16, 2018 in North Carolin. He was only 65. “This morning at 6:41 a.m. the Asheville Police Department responded to the home of actor Harry Anderson where he was found deceased. No foul play is suspected,” the Asheville Police Department said in a statement. It was later revealed that he had died in his sleep of a stroke complicated by influenza.
11. Jackson ODell
Actor and singer Jackson ODell was only 20-years-old at the time of his death, shocking everyone. The actor, who was best known for his role as Ari Caldwell on the popular sitcom The Goldbergs from 2013 to 2015 was found dead on June 8, 2018. At the time of his death the young star was living at a sober living facility, but passed away from an accidental drug overdose due to “acute heroin and cocaine toxicity.” “He will always be a shining light and a brilliant, loving and talented soul. He had so much more to share. Our family will always carry that truth forward. Our wish is that the rest of the world who knew and loved him does as well,” his family said in an emotional statement after his sudden death.
10. Verne Troyer
Fans around the world were devastated when it was confirmed that beloved actor Verne Troyer, who was best known for his role as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers franchise, had passed away on April 21, 2018. “It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today. Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible,” his family confirmed in a statement. Troyer’s unexpected death became even more tragic when a coroner later ruled his death a suicide. He was 49.
9. Kate Spade
As one of the most recognizable names on the planet thanks to her Kate Spade brand, it seems no one knew about the personal struggles that led to the unexpected and tragic suicide of designer Kate Spade. Spade was only 55 years old when she took her own life by hanging and was discovered by her housekeeper inside her New York City apartment on June 5, 2018. It was later revealed that Spade had left a note addressed to her daughter, and it was also revealed that she and her husband of 24 years had been having marital troubles and were living separately. “Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives. We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy,” Andy said in part in a statement. “There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.”
8. Blake Painter
Former reality star Blake Painter of the hit Discovery Channel series Deadliest Catch was only 38 when he was found dead inside of his Oregon home on May 25, 2018. Painter, who had appeared on the series as the captain of the F/V Maverick from 2006 to 2007 was found after a friend grew concerned after not hearing from Painter for several days. Painter is believed to have died of a drug overdose after there were multiple forms of drugs, including what police believe to be heroin and meth, located near his body when he was pronounced dead.
7. Anthony Bourdain
Prior health issues can sometimes alert fans to a star’s ailing health, but it is the sudden deaths that shock the most deeply and that was the case for beloved Parts Unknown star Anthony Bourdain. Millions were rocked with the news that the best-selling and celebrated chef, author and TV host had died at the age of 61 of an apparent suicide in June. Bourdain was found unresponsive in his hotel room in France on June 8 by his friend Eric Ripert. Both men were on location to film an upcoming episode of Parts Unknown. While Bourdain had briefly opened up about his struggles with mental health issues and depression, no one close to him ever expected that he would commit suicide with his mother telling The New York Times, “He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do something like this.”
6. Hugh Dane
Hugh Dane, best known as Hank the security guard on NBC’s The Office, passed away suddenly on May 16, 2018. After the news of his death was released it was revealed that the beloved star had been battling pancreatic cancer. He was 75.
5. Vinnie Paul
2017 saw the loss of many iconic rock stars, and in 2018 the music industry was devastated by the sudden passing of iconic drummer Vinnie Paul from Pantera, Damageplan and Hellyeah. Paul was only 54 when he was passed away on June 23, 2018. It was later revealed that he had died at his home in Las Vegas from a “dilated cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease.” “Today, the world not only lost a legend, but also a genuine human being who lived to put a smile on the faces of everyone he met. May he be reunited with his brother as we all strive to continue his legacy,” Hellyeah’s record label, Eleven Seven Label Group, said in a statement.
4. Margot Kidder
The death of beloved Superman actress Margot Kidder was not only one of the most shocking of 2018, but also one of the most tragic. Kidder, who played Lois Lane in several Superman films opposite Christopher Reeve, was only 69 when she passed away at her home in Livingston, Montana. While her agent stated that the actress “passed away peacefully in her sleep” it was reported that Kidder’s death was ruled a suicide by overdose with a coroner stating her death was a “result of a self-inflicted drug and alcohol overdose.” Kidder underwent a very public battle with bipolar disorder back in the mid-90s and many believed she had recovered from her drug use which made her death even more shocking. “It’s a big relief that the truth is out there. It’s important to be open and honest so there’s not a cloud of shame in dealing with this,” Kidder’s only daughter said when revealing why she chose to have her mother’s cause of death released.
2018 saw the untimely and shocking deaths of several young stars in the entertainment industry, including superstar deejay and music producer Avicii. Avicii, born Tim Bergling, was only 28 years old when he died on April 20, 2018 in Muscat, Oman. “It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” his rep confirmed in a statement. “He was found dead in Muscat, Oman this Friday afternoon local time, April 20th.” In early May it was reported that the young artist had died from suicide due to self-inflicted injuries with a broken wine bottle leading to his death by blood loss.
2. Kim Porter
The world was shocked by the sudden and unexpected death of model Kim Porter on November 15, 2018 as she was only 47 years old. Porter, who shared four children with music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs reportedly went into cardiac arrest after suffering from pneumonia for weeks. Friends and family were completely blindsided by her death, and she was remembered with emotional speeches at her Thanksgiving weekend funeral.
1. Mac Miller
The entertainment industry was completely stunned with the news of the passing of rapper Mac Miller on September 7, 2018. Miller was only 26 years old when he was found unresponsive inside his Studio City, California home. In early November it was revealed that Miller died from an accidental drug overdose due to a “mixed drug toxicity” of fentanyl, alcohol and cocaine. His untimely death came only one month after he had released his fifth studio album “Swimming” and was supposed to be filming a new music video on the day of his death.