13 Celebrities Who Tragically Lost Their Siblings Young
It's tragic to lose a sibling at any age, but these celebrities who lost siblings young were under 30 when their brothers and sisters passed away. Several actors, musicians, comedians, and artists have siblings who died at a young age. Some celebrity sibling deaths were accidental, and others were more sensational. Whatever the cause, the loss of a loved one is always tragic.
What famous people have lost a sibling young? When Chelsea Handler was 10 years old, her older brother was felled in a tragic hiking accident. In 1992, Queen Latifah's 23-year-old brother, Lance, was felled in a motorcycle accident. Joseph Gordon-Levitt lost his brother at 29, while Kelsey Grammer lost his sister and two half-brothers at a young age.
To learn more about celebrities who lost siblings at a young age, read this list.
- Photo: Eva Rinaldi / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 2.0
At 27, Louis Tomlinson lost his 18-year-old sister, Félicité Tomlinson, to a suspected cardiac episode on March 14, 2019. Félicité was a model and reportedly collapsed at her home in London where emergency personnel responded and were unable to revive her.
The Tomlinson family lost their mother, Johannah Deakin, to leukemia in 2016. One week before his sister's passing, Louis released a tribute song called "Two of Us" for his mom with lyrics that read, "You'll never know how much I miss you/The day that they took you, I wish it was me instead."
When Stephen Colbert was just 10, he lost two of his brothers and his father. In 1974, Eastern Airlines Flight 212 went down in a cornfield in North Carolina. Colbert's father and brothers, Peter and Paul, ages 18 and 15 respectively, didn't survive the incident.
Colbert struggled emotionally for years after the tragedy, saying it took 25 years to come to terms with the loss.
- Photo: US Dept. of Education / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
When Chelsea Handler was just 10 years old, her older brother went on a hiking trip. Unfortunately, during his expedition, he fell off an 80-foot cliff in the Grand Tetons. He passed immediately on impact.
Of the loss, Handler told Rosie O'Donnell: "My family wanted to talk to me about it but I was just, like, cut off because I didn’t want to cry in front of anyone."
- Photo: David Torcivia / Flickr / CC-BY-SA 2.0
In 2008, Jennifer Hudson suffered a high-profile tragedy involving more than one family member. William Balfour, the estranged husband of Hudson's sister, terminated Hudson's mother and brother in their home. Authorities later found Hudson's 7-year-old nephew slain in a stolen SUV.
Balfour was convicted of the slayings and sentenced to life in prison.
In 2010, when Joseph Gordon-Levitt was 29, his 36-year-old brother, Daniel, passed. Some media outlets speculated Daniel suffered an overdose; however, Gordon-Levitt has vehemently denied that characterization. “He died first," the actor said of his sibling, who co-founded their production company HITRECORD.
He continued: “So, I have that as an example, in a way. And, frankly, it makes it less scary in a way, too, knowing that he’s done it. Because all the big things that I ever had to do, he did 'em first. Guess that’s what it’s like being second.”
- Photo: Tony Shek / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0
Joaquin Phoenix was 19 years old when he witnessed his brother, River, suffered a fatal and very high-profile overdose in Los Angeles in 1993. According to River Phoenix's friend Bob Forrest, the actor consumed a toxic combination of substances.
Despite a quick emergency response to the scene, Phoenix didn't make it.