All too often young lives are cut short through drug addiction and nowhere is this more apparent than with the rich and famous. In recent years there have been a number of high profile celebrities who have lost their lives to drug addiction – Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse to name just two – but what about all the lesser-known celebrities whose lives have been destroyed by drug addiction? Here we look at five such celebrities who died from a drug overdose before they turned 30.
Born in 1975, Bridgette declared that she wanted to be an actress when just two years of age and after a stint as a child model began acting at the tender age of seven. She is most remembered for her role as the title character in the 1982 film Savannah Smiles, which earned her a nomination for the Young Artist Award. In the mid 1980’s she had various acting roles in TV and film, but by 1987 her acting roles were infrequent. Perhaps her sudden rise to fame followed by a slump in work was a contributing factor to her heroin addiction as a teenager. She died aged just 21 from a heroin overdose at a time when she had been desperately trying to stay clean from her drug habit.
This Australian poet was born in 1948 and wrote his first poem at just eight years of age. During his short life he wrote almost 1000 poems and has been described as “one of the most widely read poets of his generation” and someone who never got a chance to meet his full potential. The last book of poems published prior to his death in 1963, entitled Drug Poems, was clearly influenced by his drug habit. He had been unwell during his 20’s and died aged only 24. Although there have been conflicting reports of the cause of his death, a heroin overdose and an infection from an injection site are thought to have been strong contenders.
Gino, who was born in 1957, became a professional wrestler, making it to World Class Championship Wrestling. His titles included winning the United States Heavyweight Championship in the Detroit area, but his downfall was his drug addiction. Gino’s addiction to cocaine was no secret and his manager had encouraged him to kick his habit on numerous occasions, but he had been unable to do so. In February 1986 when Gino was 28, due to concerns regarding his wellbeing police officers entered Gino’s apartment and found him dead. Although it was initially thought that Gino had been murdered, a post-mortem showed that his death had instead been due to a drug overdose.
Born in the 1940’s, Frankie was a singer and songwriter of rhythm and blues and rock and roll music.
He became the lead singer in the group The Teenagers, most famous for their single Why Do Fools Fall in Love, which incidentally gave its name to the 1998 film inspired by his life. Frankie started using heroin aged 15 and entered drug rehab in 1961. Despite having a clean three year timeline prior to his death in 1968, Frankie died from a heroin overdose – aged only 25 – after celebrating the success of a music deal.
An American artist, Dash was born in 1981 and started taking photos during his teenage years. In 2006 he was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, featuring in an article entitled The 23-Year Old Masters, which covered 10 American artists to watch out for. His photos, which were featured in galleries across the world, depicted the life of a young artist living in New York and included amongst other things scenes of drug taking. Sadly he died of a heroin overdose aged 27.
Betty writes health and celebrity stories on behalf of a harm reduction news source.