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Famous People Who Died in 2008

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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 2008 was no exception. The world saw the passing of one of comedy's finest, Mr. George Carlin. There was also the tragedy surrounding Heath Ledger, after he was found dead from a drug overdose.  Here's our list of the most notable people to die in 2008, 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 2008? Scroll down and see for yourself.
  • George Carlin

    George Carlin

    Heart failure, Cardiovascular disease
    George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an American stand-up comedian,...  more
  • Heath Ledger

    Heath Ledger

    Drug overdose, Combined drug intoxication
    Heath Andrew Ledger (4 April 1979 – 22 January 2008) was an Australian actor and music video...  more
  • Paul Newman

    Paul Newman

    Lung cancer
    Paul Leonard Newman (January 26, 1925 – September 26, 2008) was an American actor, film...  more
  • Bernie Mac

    Bernie Mac

    Complications from pneumonia, Sarcoidosis
    Bernard Jeffrey McCullough (October 5, 1957 – August 9, 2008), better known by his stage name...  more
  • Bettie Page

    Bettie Page

    Myocardial infarction
    Betty Mae Page (April 22, 1923 – December 11, 2008), known professionally as Bettie Page, was...  more
  • Charlton Heston

    Charlton Heston

    Complications from pneumonia
    Charlton Heston (born John Charles Carter; October 4, 1923 – April 5, 2008) was an American...  more
  • Eartha Kitt

    Eartha Kitt

    Colorectal cancer
    Eartha Kitt (born Eartha Mae Keith, January 17, 1927 – December 25, 2008) was an American...  more
  • Michael Crichton

    Michael Crichton

    Cancer, Cancer of the larynx
    John Michael Crichton (; October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008) was an American author,...  more
  • Yves Saint Laurent
    Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent (French: [iv sɛ̃ lɔʁɑ̃]; 1 August 1936 – 1 June 2008),...  more
  • Cyd Charisse

    Cyd Charisse

    Myocardial infarction
    Tula Ellice Charisse (née Finklea; March 8, 1922 – June 17, 2008), known professionally as Cyd...  more
  • Isaac Hayes
    Isaac Lee Hayes Jr. (August 20, 1942 – August 10, 2008) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more
  • Arthur C. Clarke

    Arthur C. Clarke

    Respiratory failure
    Sir Arthur Charles Clarke (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was a British science fiction...  more
  • James Robert Stewart (6 March 1931 – 3 January 2008) was a British racing driver from Scotland...  more
  • Harvey Korman

    Harvey Korman

    Abdominal aortic aneurysm
    Harvey Herschel Korman (February 15, 1927 – May 29, 2008) was an American actor and comedian,...  more
  • Bo Diddley

    Bo Diddley

    Myocardial infarction
    Ellas McDaniel (born Ellas Otha Bates, December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008), known as Bo Diddley,...  more
  • Arthur Shawcross

    Arthur Shawcross

    Cardiac arrest
    Arthur John Shawcross (June 6, 1945 – November 10, 2008), also known as the Genesee River...  more
  • Katoucha Niane
    Katoucha Niane (23 October 1960 – 2 February 2008) was a Guinean model. Nicknamed "The Peul...  more
  • Mel Ferrer

    Mel Ferrer

    Heart failure
    Melchior Gastón Ferrer (August 25, 1917 – June 2, 2008) was an American actor and director of...  more
  • Suharto


    Heart failure, Cardiovascular disease
    Suharto (, Indonesian pronunciation ; 8 June 1921 – 27 January 2008) was an Indonesian...  more
  • Brad Renfro

    Brad Renfro

    Drug overdose, Heroin overdose
    Brad Barron Renfro (July 25, 1982 – January 15, 2008) was an American actor. He made his film...  more
  • Julie Ege

    Julie Ege

    Breast cancer
    Julie Ege (Norwegian pronunciation: [jʉːliə ˈeːɡə]; 12 November 1943 – 29 April 2008) was a...  more
  • Christopher Hyatt
    Christopher Hyatt, born Alan Ronald Miller, was an American occultist, author, and founder of...  more
  • Estelle Getty

    Estelle Getty

    Dementia with Lewy bodies
    Estelle Getty (née Scher; also known as Estelle Gettleman; July 25, 1923 – July 22, 2008) was...  more
  • Georgia Frontiere

    Georgia Frontiere

    Breast cancer
    Georgia Frontiere (born Violet Frances Irwin; November 21, 1927 – January 18, 2008) was an...  more
  • Bobby Fischer

    Bobby Fischer

    Renal failure
    Robert James Fischer (March 9, 1943 – January 17, 2008) was an American chess grandmaster and...  more