15 Celebrities Whose Family Members Were Murdered

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List of Celebrities Whose Family Members Were Murdered, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Thousands of people are murdered every year in the United States. Several celebrities have had family members that have been victims of murder. Some famous people had family members who were killed while they were children and others had family members killed when they were successful adults.

Who is the most famous person who had a family member murdered? Charlize Theron tops our list. The “Young Adult” star's mother shot her father in self-defense in 1991. Theron's father was an abusive alcoholic and he threatened to kill her mother and Charlize in a drunken rage. This incident propelled Theron's mother to legally shoot him in order to save both of their lives. Some actors who have had family members that were murdered include Kelsey Grammer, Bill Cosby and Dylan McDermont.

The celebrity who most recently had family members murdered is Jennifer Hudson. In 2008, Hudson's mother, brother and nephew were all murdered in Chicago by her estranged brother-in-law William Balfour. Balfour was separated from Hudson's sister Julia at the time of his killing spree.

How do you think these famous people were able to recover from the murders of their family members? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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  1. Oscar winner Charlize Theron's father was killed by her mother in self-defense in 1991.  Her father was an abusive alcoholic, and her mother legally shot him after he threatened her life - and Charlize's - in a drunken rage.
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    • Age: 40
    • Birthplace: Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa
    • Profession: Spokesperson, Film Producer, Model, Actor, Film Director
    • Credits: Mad Max: Fury Road, Prometheus, Monster, Hancock
  2. Bill Cosby is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 15 Celebrities Whose Family Members Were Murdered
    Photo: Randy Miramontez/Shutterstock
    In 1997, Bill Cosby's son Ennis was killed when he was changing a tire on the side of the road.  His female friend was following behind him in her car, and she drove 50 yards away when she saw the armed gunman.  When she returned, she found Ennis Cosby dead.
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    • Age: 78
    • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Profession: Activist, Film Score Composer, Television director, Television producer, Musician, + more
    • Credits: The Cosby Show, Bill Cosby: Himself, Uptown Saturday Night, The Electric Company
  3. Kelsey Grammer has had several tragic events effect his life. In 1968, Kelsey Grammer's estranged father was murdered. Then, in 1975, Grammer's sister was raped and murdered by the notorious killer Freddie Glenn.
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    • Age: 60
    • Birthplace: Saint Thomas, United States Virgin Islands
    • Profession: Television director, Comedian, Television producer, Film Producer, Actor, + more
    • Credits: Cheers, Toy Story 2, Anastasia, Transformers: Age of Extinction
  4. Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 15 Celebrities Whose Family Members Were Murdered
    Photo: Jason H. Smith/Flickr
    In 1993, Michael Jordan's father pulled over in a rest stop to take a nap.  Two men spotted the car and recognized the license plate as the one the Jordan bought for his father.  They shot James Jordan and stole his car as well as two NBA Championship rings that Michael had given his father.
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    • Age: 52
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Spokesperson, Basketball player, Entrepreneur, Actor, Athlete
    • Credits: Michael Jordan to the Max, Michael Jordan: His Airness, Playground, He Got Game
  5. Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 15 Celebrities Whose Family Members Were Murdered
    Photo: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock
    In 2008, Jennifer Hudson suffered a horrible family tragedy when her mother, brother, and nephew were all murdered by her brother-in-law William Balfour.  Balfour was amidst a separation from Hudson's sister Julia when he went on the killing spree.
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    • Age: 34
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
    • Profession: Spokesperson, Actor, Singer, Artist
    • Credits: American Idol, Dreamgirls, Sex and the City, And the Oscar Goes To...
  6. Dylan McDermott's mother died when he was just five years old.  Her boyfriend John Sponza was charged with murder, but he claimed that she accidentally shot herself while cleaning out a gun.
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    • Age: 54
    • Birthplace: Waterbury, Connecticut, United States of America
    • Profession: Actor, Presenter
    • Credits: The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Practice, Olympus Has Fallen, In the Line of Fire
  7. In 2003, Serena Williams's half-sister, Yetunde Price, was shot while driving in Compton.  Police believe that her boyfriend, who was in the passenger seat, was the intended victim.
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    • Age: 34
    • Birthplace: Saginaw, Michigan, United States of America
    • Profession: Tennis player, Fashion designer, Businessperson, Actor, Athlete, + more
    • Credits: Hair Show, Charity Jam, Wimbledon 2009 Official Film, Venus & Serena: For Real
  8. In 1986, Patrick Duffy's parents were murdered by two men during a robbery.  The robbery took place in a bar that his parents owned.
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    • Age: 66
    • Birthplace: Townsend, Montana, United States of America
    • Profession: Television director, Actor
    • Credits: Dallas, Step by Step, Dallas, You Again, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, + more
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