True crime 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 McDermott.

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.

Tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams are also on this list. Their older sister, Yetunde Price, was shot dead in Compton, California. Their story is just one of many tragic cases of celebrity siblings, relatives, and families who died. 

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.


Charlize Theron is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 15 Celebrities Whose Family Members Were Murdered
Photo:  Noel Vasquez/Getty Images
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: 41

Birthplace: Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa

Profession: Spokesperson, Film Producer, Model, Actor Film Director

Credits: Mad Max: Fury Road, Prometheus, Monster, Hancock

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#21 on The Best American Actresses Working Today

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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: 79

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

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#24 on The Funniest People of All Time

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Kelsey Grammer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 15 Celebrities Whose Family Members Were Murdered
Photo:  Tenebrae/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0
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: 62

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

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#41 on The Best Actors to Start Their Careers on Soaps

#25 on The Best TV Actors of All Time

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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: 54

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

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#1 on The Best Athletes of All Time

#5 on Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

#1 on The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History

#1 on The Top NBA Players Of All Time

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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: 35

Birthplace: USA, Chicago, Illinois

Profession: Spokesperson, Actor, Singer, Artist

Credits: American Idol, Dreamgirls, Sex and the City, And the Oscar Goes To...

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#43 on The Best Current Female Singers

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Dylan McDermott is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 15 Celebrities Whose Family Members Were Murdered
Photo: Freebase/GNU Free Documentation License
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: 55

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

Also Ranked

#53 on The Hottest Men Over 40

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Serena Williams is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 15 Celebrities Whose Family Members Were Murdered
Photo:  Edwin Martinez/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
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: 35

Birthplace: Michigan, USA, Saginaw

Profession: Tennis player, Fashion designer, Businessperson, Actor Athlete, + more

Credits: Hair Show, Charity Jam, Wimbledon 2009 Official Film, Venus & Serena: For Real

Also Ranked

#25 on The Most Inspiring (Non-Hollywood) Female Role Models

#23 on The Athletes That Millennials Love the Most

#45 on Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

#58 on The Funniest Professional Athletes

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Patrick Duffy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 15 Celebrities Whose Family Members Were Murdered
Photo:  iDominick/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0
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: 68

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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#71 on The Best Guest Stars on The Love Boat

#98 on The Best TV Actors of All Time

#48 on The Hottest Silver Foxes

#19 on People Only Your Dad Cares About

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