15 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Died From Drug Abuse or Overdose

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The stigma of addiction and desire to protect the legacy of these celebrities has led to their stories being swept under the rug.

1. Judy Garland

The legendary singer/actress, always celebrated as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, was one of the all-time great American entertainers. She received a Golden Globe Award, a Juvenile Academy Award, a Special Tony Award, and at 39 she became the youngest recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in the motion picture industry. Garland was known to have a serious prescription drug problem for years before her death. She was 47 when she was found dead by her fifth husband in the bathroom of their rented house in London in 1969. The coroner determined the cause of death was an unintentional overdose of barbiturates.

2. Chris Penn

Known for standout supporting roles in Footloose and Reservoir Dogs, Penn was the younger brother of actor Sean Penn. A well-known Hollywood partier, he was found dead on January 24, 2006 at his condo in Santa Monica. According to a toxicology report, Valium, morphine, marijuana and an elevated level of codeine were found as well as traces of promethazine (an antihistamine).

3. John Entwistle

As the legendary bass guitarist for the classic English rock band the Who, Entwistle had a music career that spanned more than 40 years. His aggressive lead sound had a profound influence on other bass players. Entwistle was found dead in Room 658 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on June 27, 2002 after a wild night of debauchery with a local stripper. The official cause of death was a heart attack induced by a cocaine overdose.

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