Culture
169.9k voters

People We Wish Were Still Alive

Updated March 3, 2021 2.2m votes 169.9k voters 1.5m views753 items

List RulesVote up the famous people who died before they lived up to their complete potential.

RIP to our world's greatest achievers, those who changed the way we live and the ways we thought. This list of people we wish were still alive includes some of the greatest humanitarians, artists, politicians, and celebrities we wished could have stayed with us longer. These notable dead people passed ahead of their time; regardless of the reason or timing, these are famous people who died while they still had very much to contribute to the world.

There are myriad great people who died too soon on this list. Among them, composers like Mozart, rock musicians like Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix, politicians like JFK, and even celebrity personalities like the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. All these famous dead people left too soon, and left a void most people can never fill. This list of dead celebrities features many beloved icons who are still very missed. You'll see great people who have died, like Freddie Mercury and Princess Diana. Prince is a famous dead entertainer who many would likely kill to have back in this world. Robin Williams is another famous dead person who many still celebrate and miss. This list of dead people is really a space to celebrate those we wish had never passed.

Who are some famous dead celebrities who should still be alive? These famous deceased people were gone way too soon. Who are the celebrities that died before their time? There are many reasons you might want to vote up your favorite notable deceased person, so make sure to do so on this list of famous people you wish were still alive. If your favorite dead celebrity isn't listed, feel free to add them to the discussion.

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  • 26
    14,930
    7,953

    Johnny Cash

    Dec. at 71 (1932-2003)

    BirthplaceKingsland, Arkansas, United States of America

    John R. "Johnny" Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold...  more
  • 27
    5,407
    3,091

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Dec. at 57 (1770-1827)

    BirthplaceBonn, Germany

    Ludwig van Beethoven ( (listen); German: [ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːthoːfn̩] (listen); baptised 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between...  more
  • 28
    20,858
    12,540

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Dec. at 35 (1756-1791)

    BirthplaceSalzburg, Austria

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the classical era. Born in...  more
  • 29
    15,125
    9,045

    William Shakespeare

    Dec. at 51 (1564-1616)

    BirthplaceStratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

    William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest...  more
  • 30
    15,630
    8,717

    Marilyn Monroe

    Dec. at 36 (1926-1962)

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 4, 1962) was an American actress, model, and singer. Famous for playing comic "blonde bombshell" characters, she became one of the...  more
  • 31
    10,618
    6,122

    Michael Jackson

    Dec. at 50 (1958-2009)

    BirthplaceGary, Indiana, United States of America

    Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of...  more
  • 32
    9,032
    4,729

    Paul Walker

    Dec. at 40 (1973-2013)

    BirthplaceGlendale, California, United States of America

    Paul William Walker IV (September 12, 1973 – November 30, 2013) was an American actor, social activist and philanthropist. He was best known for his role as Brian O'Conner in The Fast and the Furious...  more
  • 33
    3,009
    1,320

    Muhammad Ali

    Dec. at 74 (1942-2016)

    BirthplaceLouisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    Alternative NameCassius Clay

    Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. Nicknamed "The Greatest," he is widely regarded as...  more
  • 34
    10,107
    5,485

    John Candy

    Dec. at 43 (1950-1994)

    BirthplaceNewmarket, Canada

    John Franklin Candy (October 31, 1950 – March 4, 1994) was a Canadian actor and comedian, known mainly for his work in Hollywood films. Candy rose to fame as a member of the Toronto branch of the...  more
  • 35
    6,139
    3,248

    Patrick Swayze

    Dec. at 57 (1952-2009)

    BirthplaceHouston, Texas, USA

    Patrick Wayne Swayze (; August 18, 1952 – September 14, 2009), was an American actor, dancer, singer, and songwriter. Gaining fame with appearances in films during the 1980s, he became popular for...  more
  • 36
    15,139
    9,604

    Mahatma Gandhi

    Dec. at 78 (1869-1948)

    BirthplacePorbandar, India

    Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (; 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful...  more
  • 37
    7,840
    4,818

    Michelangelo

    Dec. at 88 (1475-1564)

    BirthplaceCaprese Michelangelo, Italy

    Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer of the High Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled...  more
  • 38
    3,262
    1,575

    Dr. Seuss

    Dec. at 87 (1904-1991)

    BirthplaceSpringfield, Massachusetts

    Theodor Seuss Geisel ( or (listen); March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991) was an American children's author, political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, screenwriter, and filmmaker. He is...  more
  • 39
    6,040
    3,822

    Benjamin Franklin

    Dec. at 84 (1706-1790)

    BirthplaceBoston, Massachusetts, United States of America

    Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705] – April 17, 1790) was an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a leading author, printer,...  more
  • 40
    2,082
    1,007

    John F. Kennedy, Jr.

    Dec. at 38 (1960-1999)

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., USA

    John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. (November 25, 1960 – July 16, 1999), often referred to as JFK Jr. or John John, was an American lawyer, journalist, and magazine publisher. He was a son of President John...  more
  • 41
    4,442
    2,559

    Amelia Earhart

    Dec. at 39 (1897-1937)

    BirthplaceAtchison, Kansas

    Amelia Mary Earhart (, born July 24, 1897; disappeared July 2, 1937) was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She set...  more
  • 42
    11,068
    6,430

    Audrey Hepburn

    Dec. at 63 (1929-1993)

    BirthplaceIxelles, Belgium

    Audrey Hepburn (born Audrey Kathleen Ruston; 4 May 1929 – 20 January 1993) was a British actress and humanitarian. Recognised as a film and fashion icon, Hepburn was active during Hollywood's Golden...  more
  • 43
    3,344
    1,903

    Chris Farley

    Dec. at 33 (1964-1997)

    BirthplaceMadison, Wisconsin, United States of America

    Christopher Crosby Farley (February 15, 1964 – December 18, 1997) was an American actor and comedian. Farley was known for his loud, energetic comedic style, and was a member of Chicago's Second City...  more
  • 44
    4,698
    2,625

    Jim Henson

    Dec. at 53 (1936-1990)

    BirthplaceGreenville, Mississippi, USA

    James Maury Henson (September 24, 1936 – May 16, 1990) was an American puppeteer, animator, cartoonist, actor, inventor, filmmaker, and screenwriter who achieved worldwide notice as the creator of...  more
  • 45
    13,158
    8,341

    Mark Twain

    Dec. at 74 (1835-1910)

    BirthplaceFlorida, Missouri, United States of America

    Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was lauded as the...  more
  • 46
    9,074
    5,520

    Neil Armstrong

    Dec. at 82 (1930-2012)

    BirthplaceOhio, United States of America

    Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012) was an American astronaut and aeronautical engineer who was the first person to walk on the Moon. He was also a naval aviator, test pilot, and...  more
  • 47
    12,729
    8,262

    Kurt Cobain

    Dec. at 27 (1967-1994)

    BirthplaceAberdeen, Washington, United States of America

    Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994) was an American singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the guitarist and frontman of the rock band Nirvana. He is remembered as one of...  more
  • 48
    11,996
    8,131

    George Washington

    Dec. at 67 (1732-1799)

    BirthplaceVirginia, United States of America

    George Washington was the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He presided over the convention...  more
  • 49
    3,878
    2,359

    Selena

    Dec. at 23 (1971-1995)

    BirthplaceLake Jackson, Texas, United States of America

    Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995) was an American singer, songwriter, spokesperson, model, actress, and fashion designer. Called the Queen of Tejano music, her contributions...  more
  • 50
    3,450
    2,031

    Brandon Lee

    Dec. at 28 (1965-1993)
    Brandon Bruce Lee (February 1, 1965 – March 31, 1993) was an American actor and martial artist. He was the first child of martial artist and actor Bruce Lee and teacher Linda Lee Cadwell (née...  more