Have you ever just been channel surfing and come across a movie you haven't seen in a long time and wonder to yourself, what happened to this actor/actress? I haven't seen them in anything in a long time. This happened to me recently while browsing Netflix, I came across a little gem called Jingle All The Way, a Christmas movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger about a father determined to get his son the ultimate Christmas gift, a Turbo Man action figure, to make up for being well, a lousy father. What I did't realize is I hadn't seen one of Schwarzenegger's Costars in a recent film let along heard anything about them in a long time. Which brings me to my list, these may shock you.
1. The tragic death of Phil Hartman
Hartman was probably best known for his skits on Saturday Night Live and as a voice over artist on the popular TV series The Simpsons. What was a seemingly happy marriage had a more horrific home life. On May 28, 1998 Hartman was fatally shot 3 times by his wife Brynn, while he slept. Then shortly after she turned the gun on herself making this a murder/suicide. It's not exactly clear as to why she did it, there's a lot of speculation it had something to do with her struggle with depression and drug use, but I don't think anyone had a justifiable reason. You can check out the whole story here. The Canadian actor/comedian was 49 when he died.
2. This surprising death of a Disney channel star
Who doesn't remember the Famous Jett Jackson? Allow me to refresh your memory, check out this YouTube video of the Jett Jackson theme song. Blast from the past right?! Well I hate to get you feeling all the nostalgia lifting you up just to bring you down but sadly Lee Thompson Young took his life on August 19, 2013. I was completely shocked when I found this out. Apparently, Young suffered from bipolar disorder and depression. He didn't show up for filming an episode of Rizzoli & Isles, so police were called to do a well-being check on him at his Los Angeles apartment where he was found dead with a gun shot wound to the head. Find out more here. Young was only 29 when he departed.
3. Everyone's favorite uncle
Most commonly known as Phillip Banks or uncle Phil, on the popular TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel air, costarring next to Will Smith. He had such a way about him that made you believe he really was related to everyone on that show. He was witty, funny, intelligent, and best of all one hell of an actor! Sadly he died December 31, 2013 at the age of 68 from complications following open heart surgery. Here's a fun fact about James Avery, did you know that he was the voice of Shredder from the original cartoon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from 1987-1993? I sure didn't.
4. It's Morphin Time!
Another one I was completely unaware of was the death of Vietnamese actress Thuy Trang. She was a beloved actress of ’90s kids everywhere as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ first Yellow Ranger. Roles in The Crow: City of Angels and Spy Hard followed, but unfortunately her life was cut short before she ever made it to the top. Trang died in a traffic collision in September 2001. She was 27.
5. At least he got to be apart of the magical work of Harry Potter
Robert Knox was not a huge celebrity. He wasn't very well known but I felt it was worth mentioning considering the circumstances in which he was killed. Knox played Marcus Belby in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Marcus was the nephew of Damocles, the noted potioneer who developed the Wolfsbane Potion in the late 20th century. For this reason, Horace Slughorn considered inviting Belby to his Slug Club supper parties in the 1996-1997 school year, but given that he did not see much of his uncle. Slughorn was never seen giving him much attention. He wasn't a very significant character in the movie, but it was believed by relatives this would have launched his acting career. Sadly Knox was stabbed to death defending his younger brother in a fight. I thought that was very admirable and courageous of him to step in like that. Sadly, we'll never know what would've become of his acting career.
It's crazy just how many celebrities in general have died that we're unaware of. A lot of them go without huge media attention for various reasons. Some of which I think should be recognized more, even if they only had a brief moment in the spotlight. They'll all live on through the films they've been in and now truly reside among the stars. Rest in peace!