Celebrities who died in hotels are by definition more alluring than celebrities who died in less glamorous places. If Whitney Houston had died 20 years later of natural causes in her childhood home, would it have made headlines? Probably, but it wouldn't have been perceived to be as tragic as it was. Dying in a hotel - away from hearth and home, away from friends and family - is as tragic as it gets. Many of these celebrities died way too young - some suffering heart and liver problems, others experiencing strokes, and the lion's share of them dying by drug overdoses. Many of the famous people who died in hotels were musicians - others were writers, actors, athletes, and performers.
Human beings have an intense fascination with the actual physical spots where celebrities have died. It's hard not to feel some macabre, otherworldly pull towards a place when you know a famous rock star bit the bullet there. For this reason, certain hotels have achieved infamy due to their connections to celebrity deaths. Whether or not you consider these rooms to be cursed or haunted depends on if you believe in that type of stuff. But one thing is for certain, all of the hotels here played some small role in history - and a huge one in the personal story of these celebrities.
Whitney Houston was about to perform at a pre-Grammy party when she died at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 11, 2012. The singer, who had struggled with drug addiction for much of her life, was found underwater and unconscious, according to police. Toxicology reports later revealed that several drugs were in Houston's system at the time.
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Iconic singer-songwriter Janis Joplin died on October 4, 1970 at the Landmark Hotel, which was later renamed the Highland Gardens. Joplin’s four-year career was punctuated with “Piece of My Heart” and "Cry Baby," but the princess of rock and roll’s legendary life was cut short by an accidental heroin overdose. Joplin, who had struggled with addiction her entire life, had just finished recording her most well-received album, Pearl. After her death, her cover of "Me and Bobby McGee" was released and soared to No. 1 on the charts.
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The mythic playwright died in room 16 at the Hotel d’Alsace in Paris, which is now a luxury stayaway for wealthy travelers. For years, people believed Wilde suffered from syphilis, but doctors now think he died because of a severe ear infection. Drunk, destitute, and bereft of the will to live, Wilde spent his final days cursing the ugly wallpaper of his hotel room. In one of his final outings in Paris, he told a friend of his wallpaper: "One of us has to go."
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On June 8, 2018, celebrity chef, author, and travel host Anthony Bourdain was found unresponsive by his friend, Eric Ripert. Bourdain was in the midst of filming an upcoming episode of Parts Unknown. CNN confirmed that Bourdain's death was a suicide. In an official statement, the network mourned the loss of their associate:
It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain. His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time.
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