celebrities 13 Famous People Surrounded By Tragedy  

Celebrity Lists
480.6k views 13 items Embed

Several famous people have experienced a lot of tragedies. Some celebrities have had several family members die in terrible ways, while others have experienced a series of personal illnesses and injuries. One famous singer lost three of her family members in a horrific shooting. This list of famous people who have been surrounded by tragedy is loosely ranked by fame and popularity. 

Who is the most famous person who is surrounded by tragedy? Sofia Vergara tops our list. "Modern Family" actress Sofia Vergara's brother Rafael was murdered in Bogota in 1998. In 2000, Vergara was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and in 2011, her younger brother Julio was deported to Colombia after being arrested.

In 2008, Jennifer Hudson's mother Darnell Donnerson, her brother Jason and her nephew Julian were all killed by her estranged brother-in-law William Balfour. John F. Kennedy, Jr.'s father John F. Kennedy and uncle Robert Kennedy were both assassinated.

How would you attempt to recover from a personal tragedy? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
back to page 1

Roy Orbison is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 13 Famous People Surrounded By Tragedy
Photo:  Jac de Nijs/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 4.0
In 1966, Roy Orbison's wife, Claudette Frady, was killed when the couple were riding motorcycles. She was hit by a semi truck and killed instantly. Just two years later, Orbison's house burned down, killing two of his three sons. In 1973, his older brother, Grady, was killed in an auto accident while traveling to spend thanksgiving with Orbison.

Age: Died at 52 (1936-1988)

Birthplace: Vernon, Texas, United States of America

Profession: Guitarist, Songwriter, Musician, Actor, Composer, + more

Credits: The Hateful Eight, Dumb & Dumber, 50/50, Pretty Woman

Also Ranked

#93 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#40 on The Best Rock Vocalists

#27 on The Best Singers of All Time

#22 on Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

see more on Roy Orbison

Marie Osmond is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 13 Famous People Surrounded By Tragedy
Photo: Freedom To Marry/Flickr
In 1999, Marie Osmond revealed that she suffered from severe postpartum depression after the birth of her son Matthew. In 2007, she was devastated by the death of her father George Osmond, who had 9 children and 55 grandchildren. In 2010, Osmond's son, Michael, committed suicide at age 18, jumping from an eighth floor window.

Age: 57

Birthplace: Ogden, Utah, United States of America

Profession: Screenwriter, Designer, Actor, Singer, Presenter

Credits: Donny and Marie, Marie, The Talk, Entertainment Tonight

Also Ranked

#62 on The Top Female Country Singers

see more on Marie Osmond

Ernest Hemingway is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 13 Famous People Surrounded By Tragedy
Photo: Public Domain/via Wikimedia Commons
In 1928, when Ernest Hemingway was 24 years old, he received a cable saying his father, Clarence, had committed suicide by shooting himself. In 1961, Hemingway committed suicide himself with a gunshot to the head. In 1966, his sister, Ursula, committed suicide by overdosing on drugs after a long struggle with cancer and depression. In 1982, Hemingway's youngest brother, Leicester, who had discovered Clarence's body, shot himself to death. In 1996, his granddaughter Margaux Hemingway, was found dead from an overdose of phenobarbital.

Age: Died at 62 (1899-1961)

Birthplace: Oak Park, USA, Illinois

Profession: Journalist, Novelist, Author

Credits: To Have and Have Not, The Killers, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls

Also Ranked

#5 on The Greatest American Writers of All Time

#11 on The Best Writers of All Time

#12 on The Best Novelists of All Time

#5 on The Best Short Story Writers of All Time

see more on Ernest Hemingway

Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 13 Famous People Surrounded By Tragedy
Photo: david_shankbone/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
In 2002, Kanye West was involved in a near-fatal car accident which left him with a shattered jaw. In 2007, his mother, Donda West, passed away suddenly after suffering multiple post-operative complications after plastic surgery. "It was like losing an arm and a leg and trying to walk through that," West said of the loss of his mother.

Age: 39

Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

Profession: Film Score Composer, Fashion designer, Record producer, Businessperson, Songwriter, + more

Credits: The Great Gatsby, Mission: Impossible III, The Hangover, The Hangover Part II

Also Ranked

#14 on Celebrities You Would Not Want as a Stepdad

#36 on The Most Iconic Celebrity First Names

#13 on The Greatest Rappers of All Time

#26 on Musicians with the Best Onstage Banter

see more on Kanye West