READ
25.1k readers

Famous People Who Died in 2002

25.1k views197 items

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 2002 was no exception. Many beloved actors died in 2002, including legendary comedian Milton Berle. Here's our list of the most notable people to die in 2002, 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 2002? Scroll down and see for yourself.
...more
  • Milton Berle

    Colorectal cancer
    Milton Berle (born Mendel Berlinger; Yiddish: ‏מענדעל בערלינגער‎; July 12, 1908 – March 27, 2002) was an American comedian and actor. Berle's career as an entertainer spanned over 80 years, first in...  more
  • James Coburn

    Myocardial infarction
    James Harrison Coburn III (August 31, 1928 – November 18, 2002) was an American actor. He featured in more than 70 films, largely action roles, and made 100 television appearances during a 45-year...  more
  • Dudley Moore

    Progressive supranuclear palsy, Pneumonia
    Dudley Stuart John Moore, CBE (19 April 1935 – 27 March 2002) was an English actor, comedian, musician and composer. Moore first came to prominence in the UK as one of the four writer-performers in...  more
  • Billy Wilder

    Pneumonia
    Billy Wilder (; German: [ˈvɪldɐ]; born Samuel Wilder, June 22, 1906 – March 27, 2002) was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist whose career spanned more...  more
  • Joe Strummer

    Congenital heart defect
    John Graham Mellor (21 August 1952 – 22 December 2002), known by his name from May of 1975, Joe Strummer, was a British musician, singer, composer, actor and songwriter who was the co-founder,...  more
  • Aileen Wuornos

    Lethal injection, Capital punishment
    Aileen Carol Wuornos Pralle (; born Aileen Carol Pittman; February 29, 1956 – October 9, 2002) was an American serial killer who murdered seven men in Florida between 1989 and 1990 by shooting them...  more
  • Rod Steiger

    Pneumonia
    Rodney Stephen Steiger (April 14, 1925 – July 9, 2002) was an American actor, noted for his portrayal of offbeat, often volatile and crazed characters. Cited as "one of Hollywood's most charismatic...  more
  • Richard Harris

    Hodgkin's lymphoma
    Richard St. John Harris (1 October 1930 – 25 October 2002) was an Irish actor and singer. He appeared on stage and in many films, appearing as Frank Machin in This Sporting Life, for which he was...  more
  • Dee Dee Ramone

    Heroin overdose
    Douglas Glenn Colvin (September 18, 1951 – June 5, 2002), known professionally as Dee Dee Ramone, was an American musician, singer and songwriter best known as founding member, songwriter, bassist...  more
  • Myra Hindley

    Myocardial infarction
  • John Entwistle

    Drug overdose, Myocardial infarction
    John Alec Entwistle (9 October 1944 – 27 June 2002) was an English bass guitarist, singer, songwriter, and film and music producer. In a music career that spanned more than 40 years, Entwistle was...  more
  • Katy Jurado

    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Renal failure
    María Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado García (16 January 1924 – 5 July 2002), better known as Katy Jurado, was a Mexican actress of film, television, and theater. Jurado began her acting career in...  more
  • Nobu McCarthy

    Aortic aneurysm
    Nobu McCarthy (née Atsumi; November 13, 1934 – April 6, 2002) was a Japanese Canadian actress, fashion model, and stage director....  more
  • Stephen Jay Gould

    Cancer, Lung cancer
    Stephen Jay Gould (; September 10, 1941 – May 20, 2002) was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read...  more
  • Dave Thomas

    Liver tumour
    Rex David Thomas (July 2, 1932 – January 8, 2002) was an American businessman, philanthropist, and fast-food tycoon. Thomas was the founder and chief executive officer of Wendy's, a fast-food...  more
  • Lionel Hampton

    Cardiovascular disease
    Lionel Leo Hampton (April 20, 1908 – August 31, 2002) was an American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, percussionist, and bandleader. Hampton worked with jazz musicians from Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman,...  more
  • Ted Williams

    Cardiovascular disease
    Theodore Samuel "Ted" Williams was an American Major League Baseball left fielder, and later manager. Williams played his entire 19-year major league career for the Boston Red Sox from 1939–1942 and...  more
  • Chuck Jones

    Heart failure
    Charles Martin Jones (September 21, 1912 – February 22, 2002) was an American animator, filmmaker, cartoonist, author, artist, and screenwriter, best known for his work with Warner Bros. Cartoons on...  more
  • Peggy Lee

    Cardiovascular disease, Myocardial infarction
    Norma Deloris Egstrom (May 26, 1920 – January 21, 2002), known professionally as Peggy Lee, was an American jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, composer, and actress, in a career spanning six...  more
  • Lou Thesz

    Surgical complications
    Aloysius Martin "Lou" Thesz (April 24, 1916 – April 28, 2002) was an American professional wrestler. A fifteen-time world champion, he held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship three times for a...  more
  • John Gotti

    Cancer of the larynx
  • Davey Boy Smith

    Myocardial infarction
    David Smith (27 November 1962 – 18 May 2002) was a British professional wrestler. Born in Golborne, Lancashire, Smith is best known for his appearances in the United States with the World Wrestling...  more
  • Layne Staley

    Heroin overdose
    Layne Thomas Staley (born Layne Rutherford Staley, August 22, 1967 – April 5, 2002) was an American musician best known as the original lead singer and co-songwriter of the rock band Alice in Chains....  more
  • Herb Ritts

    Pneumonia
    Herbert "Herb" Ritts Jr. (August 13, 1952 – December 26, 2002) was an American fashion photographer and director prolific for his photographs of celebrities, models, and other cultural figures...  more
  • Josh Ryan Evans

    Heart failure, Surgical complications
    Joshua Ryan Evans (January 10, 1982 – August 5, 2002) was an American actor who became known for his role of Timmy Lenox in the soap opera Passions. Though he was 17 years old when Passions debuted,...  more