Celebrities Who Tragically Died In Hotels
The death of a celebrity can often overshadow the career and legacy they left behind. There's often a morbid curiosity surrounding how and where stars die, especially if the story is particularly tragic or salacious. Many celebrities, from classic authors to reality TV stars, have died in hotels, which for some adds an element of scandal to their passing.
Amidst all the gossip surrounding celebrity deaths, it's worth remembering that they were real people who left families, friends, and careers behind. Many of these stars passed decades earlier than anyone could have imagined. Below, we'll look into the deaths of celebrities who took their last breaths in hotels all around the world.
- Photo: Mark Kettenhofen / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
Music superstar Whitney Houston was about to perform at a pre-Grammy party hosted by her mentor Clive Davis when she died at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 11, 2012. According to police, Houston was found submerged in the bathtub of her hotel room.
Houston had struggled with addiction for a number of years leading up to her passing, and toxicology reports confirmed the presence of multiple drugs in her system. Whitney Houston was only 48 at the time.
Iconic singer-songwriter Janis Joplin passed on October 4, 1970, at the Landmark Hotel in Hollywood, which was later renamed the Highland Gardens. Joplin's road manager had gone to her hotel room after she missed a recording session and found her body in between the bed and the nightstand. Although her nose had been broken and rumors swirled around her cause of death, investigators determined that the singer had overdosed on heroin.
Joplin, who had struggled with addiction her entire life, had just finished recording her best-received album, Pearl. After her passing, her cover of "Me and Bobby McGee" was released and soared to No. 1 on the charts.
- Photo: Napoleon Sarony / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
The mythic poet and playwright Oscar Wilde passed in room 16 at the Hotel d’Alsace in Paris, which is now a luxury getaway for wealthy travelers. For decades, there were unfounded rumors that Wilde died from syphilis, but doctors now believe he perished as the result of a severe ear infection.
Wilde is reported to have had ear infections throughout his life, and this final infection was likely the result of poor hygiene and medical care while the writer was in prison. Wilde was 46 at the time of his passing.
- Photo: Peabody Awards / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0
On June 8, 2018, celebrity chef, author, and travel host Anthony Bourdain was found unresponsive in a hotel room by his friend, Eric Ripert. Bourdain was in the midst of filming an upcoming episode of Parts Unknown. CNN confirmed that Bourdain had taken his own life at age 61.
Bourdain had worked as a dishwasher and battled addiction in his 20s before finding success as a writer and chef. Prior to his passing, Bourdain had been dating actress Asia Argento and had been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement.
- Photo: Gordon Correll / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
After a day of journeying through Rome with his family in the sweltering heat, Sopranos star James Gandolfini died on July 19, 2013, after a massive heart attack at the Hotel Boscolo Exedra. The 51-year-old was found by his teenage son, who called for help.
Gandolfini had traveled to Italy with his family to receive an honor at the Taormina Film Festival and had arrived early to explore his Italian heritage.
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Comedian Mitch Hedberg, known for his trenchant one-liners and for looking like the frontman of Rush, died of an accidental cocaine and heroin overdose at a Livingston, NJ, hotel on March 30, 2005.
The 37-year-old, dubbed "the next Seinfeld" by Time magazine, had signed a half-million-dollar sitcom deal with Fox prior to his passing.