celebrity facts Celebrities Who Died in Pairs (and Trios)

Jessica Lawshe
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List Rules All celebrities on this list tragically passed away within a week of each other

According to the legend, whenever one celebrity dies, one or two tend to follow. Have you noticed it? If not, you will after you click through this list of celebrities who died in pairs (and trios).

Over the years, people have noticed celebrities die in pairs or in threes. For example, TV personality and pioneer Ed McMahon died on June 23, 2009. Just two days later, on June 25th, both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson passed away. Or take the untimely deaths of wrestler Chyna and music icon Prince - both passed away on April 21, 2016. 

Rat-pack member Sammy Davis Jr. and Muppets creator Jim Henson are celebrities who died on the same day - May 16, 1990. And legend has it that former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died within five hours of each other. Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall passed away within just a day of each other. In fact, most of the pairs and trios on this list all died within the same week. Is the "celebs die in pairs" myth really just a myth? 

Take a look at this list of celebrities who died in pairs (and trios) and decide if you think this is just a lot of hullabaloo or if there's some real truth to it! 

Prince is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Celebrities Who Died in Pairs (and Trios)
Photo: Andrew Brusso/Corbis/Gary Gershoff / Retna Ltd./Retna Ltd./Corbis
According to TMZ, Chyna might have died from a possible overdose on April 21, 2016. The wrestler was discovered when a friend went to check on her and found that she wasn't breathing. Chyna was 46 years old. 

Fans were shocked to hear that Prince passed away on April 21, 2016. According to CNN,
 "the eclectic virtuoso who penned such gems as 'Kiss' and 'Let's Go Crazy' and who took on the music industry in his fight for creative freedom" was
 found unresponsive in an elevator at his estate, Paisley Park Studios. He was 57.  see more on Prince

Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson


Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, an... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Celebrities Who Died in Pairs (and Trios)
Photo:  Katy Winn/Corbis/David Lefranc/Kipa/Corbis
Television pioneer and Johnny Carson's jovial sidekick, Ed McMahon, passed away at the age of 86 on June 23, 2009. He passed away from unknown causes, but had been in poor health for some time. 

Farrah Fawcett passed away just a few days after Ed McMahon on June 25, 2009. As The New York Times explained, the golden-haired actress passed away from anal cancer, which she had been battling since 2006. 

Musical icon, Michael Jackson passed away just a few hours after Farrah Fawcett on June 25, 2009 "after going into cardiac arrest," according to NPR. His death was later attributed to an overdose of propofol and sedatives. He was just 50 years old, and his death triggered an outpouring of grief around the world.
 

David Bowie and Alan Rickman


David Bowie and Alan Rickman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Celebrities Who Died in Pairs (and Trios)
Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Peter Hogan/Demotix/Corbis
Musician David Bowie passed away on Januray 10, 2016, after battling with cancer. The Guardian remembered him as "a trailblazer of musical trends and pop fashion." He had just released his album Blackstar on his 69th birthday on January 8th.  

Beloved actor, Alan Rickman passed away on January 14, 2016. As explained by BBC, "His sonorous, languid voice was his calling card - making even throwaway lines of dialogue sound thought-out and authoritative." He played beloved villains in movies ranging from Harry Potter to Die Hard, and was fondly remember by generations of fans.

Brad Renfro, Heath Ledger, and Suzanne Pleshette


Brad Renfro, Heath Ledger, and... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Celebrities Who Died in Pairs (and Trios)
Photo:  Kurt Krieger/Corbis/2000 Phil Ramey Agency/RameyPix/Corbis
Child star Brad Renfro died of an apparent heroin overdose on January 15, 2008, according to The LA Times. The actor got his start in movies like Tom and Huck and The Client, and was named one of People's Top 30 Under 30 in 1995. But Renfro struggled with drugs from a young age, and was ultimately killed by his addiction. He was 25. 
 

Heath Ledger, whom The Telegraph called "one of the most promising actors of his generation" passed away tragically on January 22, 2008. As CNN reported, the actor "died from an accidental overdose of prescription medications including painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills." He was only 28.
 

Suzanne Pleshette died of lung cancer at the age of 70 on January 19, 2008. According to The Guardian: "There are two distinct memories of Suzanne Pleshette... the sensual, dark-haired beauty of 1960s movie melodramas, and the more mature and light-hearted but still sexy wife in The Bob Newhart Show (1972-78) on television."

Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall


Robin Williams and Lauren Baca... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Celebrities Who Died in Pairs (and Trios)
Photo: Debby Wong/Corbis/Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis
Robin Williams was found dead of an apparent suicide on August 11, 2014. As the BBC reported, the actor and comedian "won legions of fans with his frenetic energy, quick-fire improvisations and ability to mimic other famous people." He was 63. Fans are still shocked that he committed suicide. It was later revealed that he was struggling with Parkinson's Disease.

Lauren Bacall died of a stroke the day after Williams on August 12, 2014. The Hollywood Reporter called her "the
 willowy actress whose husky voice, sultry beauty and all-too-short May-December romance with Humphrey Bogart made her an everlasting icon of Hollywood." She was 89. 

Paul Walker and Nelson Mandela


Paul Walker and Nelson Mandela is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Celebrities Who Died in Pairs (and Trios)
Photo: Philippe FARJON/Demotix/Corbis/JON HRUSA/epa/Corbis
Actor Paul Walker, best known for The Fast and Furious movies, passed away on November 30, 2013. He was killed in a car accident "while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide," as reported by USA Today. Fans were deeply upset by his loss. His last film, Furious 7, was ultimately released and included a tribute to the young actor.

Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013. He was a legendary figure in South Africa, serving as the country's first democratically elected president after spending 26 years in jail for fighting against Apartheid. As remembered by The Guardian, he "gave his life for the people. There lies his greatness, and hence the tears that flow at his death."

Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper, and Rue McClanahan


Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper, a... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Celebrities Who Died in Pairs (and Trios)
Photo:  2005 Phil Ramey/RameyPix/Corbis/Walter McBride /Retna Ltd./Corbis
Diff'rent Strokes actor Gary Coleman passed away on May 28, 2010. As reported by Today, an "autopsy found Coleman died of natural causes after an accidental fall." Coleman became a star while appearing on Diff'rent Strokes and his signature line, "Whachu talkin' 'bout?" became a popular catch phrase among fans. 

Dennis Hopper died on May 29, 2010 after battling complications from metastasized prostate cancer, according to The New York Times. He received his star on the Walk of Fame right before his death, in March 2010. 
 

Rue McClanahan died just a few days after Dennis Hopper on June 3, 2010. The Emmy-winning Golden Girls actress died of a stroke in a New York hospital according to CNN. She began her career on stage in the 1950s, but was best known as Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls. She was 76 at the time of her passing.

Warren Zevon, John Ritter, and Johnny Cash


Warren Zevon, John Ritter, and... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Celebrities Who Died in Pairs (and Trios)
Photo:  CORBIS/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS
As reported by Rolling Stone, musician Warren Zevon passed away on September 7, 2003, "a year after learning he had an inoperable form of lung cancer." He was 56.
 

John Ritter, star of Three's Company and veteran of the big and small screen, "died of an undetected aortic dissection on September 11, 2003," according to Today. His sudden death stunned his fans around the world. He was only 54. 
 

Johnny Cash "died of complications from diabetes" at the age of  71 on September 12, 2003. According to The Guardian, "Johnny Cash was a country musician who was too big for country music, and his work as artist, humanitarian, and patron of songs and songwriters will endure indefinitely."