Death
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Famous People Who Died in 1997

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For one reason or another, we as human beings seem to be fascinated by celebrity deaths. Every year we mourn the loss of famous people who pass away, and 1997 was no exception. In fact, 1997 was one of the more infamous years for celebrity deaths. First there was Princess Diana's limousine crash, which shocked the entire world. In the hip hop community, the murder of Notorious BIG was considered one of the most high profile murder cases of all time, as the killer was never found.

Here's our list of the most notable people to die in 1997, ordered by how well-known they were. All walks of famous people are on this list, including actors, athletes, musicians, politicians and more.Although the rich and famous are just like the rest of us, it's alarming how many of them have their lives cut short because of drug overdoses or other accidents. Still others live out many long years only to succumb to diseases like cancer late in life.

Which celebrities died in 1997? Scroll down and see for yourself.
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  • Diana, Princess of Wales

    Diana, Princess of Wales

    Traffic collision
    Diana, Princess of Wales (born Diana Frances Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997), was a...  more
  • Mother Teresa

    Mother Teresa

    Heart failure
    Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu (born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, Albanian: [aˈɲɛzə ˈɡɔndʒɛ bɔjaˈdʒiu]; 26...  more
  • James Stewart

    James Stewart

    Cardiac arrest, Myocardial infarction
    James Maitland Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997) was an American actor and military...  more
  • Chris Farley

    Chris Farley

    Drug overdose, Morphine
    Christopher Crosby Farley (February 15, 1964 – December 18, 1997) was an American actor and...  more
  • William S. Burroughs

    William S. Burroughs

    Myocardial infarction
    William Seward Burroughs II (; February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American writer and...  more
  • John Denver

    John Denver

    Aviation accident or incident
    Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997), known professionally as...  more
  • Gianni Versace

    Gianni Versace

    Firearm, Murder
    Giovanni Versace (Italian: [ˈdʒovanni verˈsaːtʃe]; 2 December 1946 – 15 July 1997) was an...  more
  • Robert Mitchum

    Robert Mitchum

    Emphysema, Lung cancer
    Robert Charles Durman Mitchum (August 6, 1917 – July 2, 1997) was an American film actor,...  more
  • Allen Ginsberg

    Allen Ginsberg

    Liver cancer, Hepatitis
    Irwin Allen Ginsberg (; June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet, philosopher and...  more
  • Mobutu Sese Seko

    Mobutu Sese Seko

    Prostate cancer
    Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga (; born Joseph-Désiré Mobutu; 14 October 1930 – 7...  more
  • Red Skelton

    Red Skelton

    Pneumonia
    Richard Bernard Eheart (July 18, 1913 – September 17, 1997) professionally known as Red...  more
  • Burgess Meredith

    Burgess Meredith

    Melanoma, Alzheimer's disease
    Oliver Burgess Meredith (November 16, 1907 – September 9, 1997) was an American actor,...  more
  • Marshall Applewhite
    Marshall Herff Applewhite Jr. (May 17, 1931 – March 26, 1997), also known as Do, among other...  more
  • The Notorious B.I.G.

    The Notorious B.I.G.

    Firearm, Murder
    Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), known professionally as The...  more
  • Jeff Buckley

    Jeff Buckley

    Drowning
    Jeffrey Scott Buckley (November 17, 1966 – May 29, 1997), raised as Scott Moorhead, was an...  more
  • Brian Pillman
    Brian William Pillman (May 22, 1962 – October 5, 1997) was an American professional wrestler...  more
  • Brian Keith

    Brian Keith

    Suicide
    Brian Keith (born Robert Alba Keith, November 14, 1921 – June 24, 1997) was an American film,...  more
  • Deng Xiaoping

    Deng Xiaoping

    Parkinson's disease
    Deng Xiaoping (, also UK: ; courtesy name Xixian; 22 August 1904 – 19 February 1997) was a...  more
  • Bridgette Andersen

    Bridgette Andersen

    Drug overdose, Heroin overdose
    Bridgette Andersen (July 11, 1975 – 1997) was a California-based child actress and child model...  more
  • Anton LaVey
    Anton Szandor LaVey (born Howard Stanton Levey; April 11, 1930 – October 29, 1997) was an...  more
  • Charles Brady
    Charles Brady was a painter who was born and trained in New York and spent most of his life in...  more
  • Fritz Von Erich

    Fritz Von Erich

    Lung cancer, Brain tumor
    Jack Barton Adkisson Sr. (August 16, 1929 – September 10, 1997), better known by his ring name...  more
  • James Robert Baker
    James Robert Baker (October 18, 1947 – November 5, 1997) was an American author of sharply...  more
  • Linda Stirling
    Linda Stirling (born Louise Schultz, October 11, 1921 – July 20, 1997) was an American...  more
  • James A. Michener

    James A. Michener

    Renal failure
    James Albert Michener ( or ; February 3, 1907 – October 16, 1997) was an American author. He...  more