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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.
Diana, Princess of Wales is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Traffic collision
Diana, Princess of Wales, was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, who is the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Elizabeth II. Diana was born into an aristocratic British family with ...more
Mother Teresa is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Heart failure
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, MC, commonly known as Mother Teresa, was a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary who lived most of her life in India. She was born in today's Macedonia, with ...more
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Cardiac arrest, Myocardial infarction, Pulmonary embolism
James Maitland "Jimmy" Stewart was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive drawl voice and down-to-earth persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many ...more
Chris Farley is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Drug overdose, Morphine, Heroin overdose
Christopher Crosby "Chris" Farley was an American comedian and actor. Farley was known for his loud, energetic comedic style, and was a member of Chicago's Second City Theatre and cast ...more
William S. Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
William S. Burroughs Myocardial infarction
William Seward Burroughs II was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, ...more
John Denver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Aviation accident or incident
Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr., known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, actor, activist and humanitarian, whose greatest commercial success was as a solo singer, ...more
Gianni Versace is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Firearm, Murder
Gianni Versace was an Italian fashion designer and founder of Versace, an international fashion house, which produces accessories, fragrances, make-up and home furnishings as well as clothes. He ...more
Robert Mitchum is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Emphysema, Lung cancer
Robert Charles Durman Mitchum was an American film actor, author, composer and singer. Mitchum rose to prominence for his starring roles in several classic films noir, and is generally ...more
Allen Ginsberg is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Liver cancer, Hepatitis
Irwin Allen Ginsberg was an American poet and one of the leading figures of both the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the counterculture that soon would follow. He vigorously opposed economic ...more
Mobutu Sese Seko is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Prostate cancer
Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga was the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1965 to 1997. Installed and supported in office primarily by Belgium and the United ...more
Red Skelton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Pneumonia
Richard Bernard "Red" Skelton was an American entertainer best known for his national radio and television acts between 1937 and 1971 and as host of the television program The Red ...more
Burgess Meredith is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Melanoma, Alzheimer's disease, Skin cancer
Oliver Burgess Meredith, known professionally as Burgess Meredith, was an American actor and director in theater, film, and television. Active for more than six decades, Meredith has been called ...more
Marshall Applewhite is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Suicide
Marshall Herff Applewhite, Jr., also known as "Bo" and "Do", among other names, was an American cult leader who founded what became known as the Heaven's Gate religious group ...more
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Firearm, Murder, Gunshot
Christopher George Latore Wallace, better known by his stage names The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie or Biggie Smalls, was an American rapper. Wallace was raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York ...more
Jeff Buckley is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Drowning
Jeffrey Scott "Jeff" Buckley, raised as Scott "Scottie" Moorhead, was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. After a decade as a session guitarist in Los Angeles, ...more
Brian Pillman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Brian William Pillman was an American football player and professional wrestler best known for his appearances in World Championship Wrestling, Extreme Championship Wrestling and the World ...more
Brian Keith is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Suicide
Brian Keith was an American film, television, and stage actor who in his six decade-long career gained recognition for his work in movies such as the 1961 Disney family film The Parent Trap, the ...more
Deng Xiaoping is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Parkinson's disease
Deng Xiaoping; 22 August 1904 – 19 February 1997 was a Chinese revolutionary and statesman. He was the leader of China from 1978 until his retirement in 1992. After Mao Zedong's death, Deng led ...more
Bridgette Andersen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Drug overdose, Heroin overdose
Bridgette Andersen was an American child actress best known for her part in the title role of the 1982 comedy Savannah Smiles.
Anton LaVey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Anton Szandor LaVey was an American author, occultist, and musician. He was the founder of the Church of Satan as well as the author of The Satanic Bible and the founder of LaVeyan Satanism, a ...more
Charles Brady is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Charles Brady was a painter who was born and trained in New York and spent most of his life in Ireland. Charles Brady was in the US Navy in World War II; he did mundane jobs after returning from ...more
Fritz Von Erich is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Lung cancer, Brain tumor
Jack Barton Adkisson was an American professional wrestler under the ring name Fritz Von Erich, better known today as a wrestling promoter and the patriarch of the Von Erich family. He was also ...more
James Robert Baker is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Suicide
James Robert Baker was an American author of sharply satirical, predominantly gay-themed transgressional fiction. A native Californian, his work is set almost entirely in Southern California. ...more
Linda Stirling is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Cancer
Linda Stirling was an American showgirl, model and actress. In her later years, she had a second career as a college English professor for more than two decades. She is most famous for her roles ...more
Merle Pertile is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Merle Pertile was an American model and actress. She was Playboy magazine's Playmate of the Month for its January 1962 issue. Pertile grew up in Indiana and Illinois. She attended and graduated ...more