21 Celebrity Deaths That Made People Actually Cry

·6 min read

There's something about the death of a celebrity that has the ability to really shake us.

Recently, u/aliensockmonkey asked, "Which celebrity’s death actually made you cry?" and some of the responses will have you weeping at your desk.

1."Chadwick Boseman. He died of a cancer similar to what I had. Hit close to home."

Chadwick Boseman wears a studded leather jacket and poses with a big smile.
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images for dcp

2."Kobe Bryant. I'm an NBA writer but I've always looked up to Kobe. His work ethic is inspiring and he did so much. The last basketball game I attended was one where Kobe tore my favorite team apart, and I can't bring myself to attend another game. That one has to always be the last."

Kobe Bryant wraps his around daughter Gigi in the front row of a basketball game.
Ethan Miller / Getty Images

3."Cicely Tyson. She was the only exposure to black strength I had; growing up in a white family (adopted). Something about her resonated with me."

Cicely Tyson wears a silk blazer and a necklace while posing for the camera.

"Maybe because she’s not the stereotypical openly angry black person in her characters (which I will clarify is NOT an issue I just think it’s overused in movies sometimes. Black anger is a form of resistance, but anger comes in many forms) she loved fiercely, and you could tell with the tight grip of her hands that she was transferring all over heart to you." —backtosleepplz

Axelle / FilmMagic / Getty Images

4."Nipsey Hussle. I was so hurt I couldn't eat and I still haven’t gotten over it."

Nipsey Hussle wears a tuxedo and poses elegantly at an event.
David Crotty / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

5."Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds when they died within a few days of each other."

Carrie Fisher stands to the right of her mother, Debbie Reynolds. Both are dressed up for an event.
Ethan Miller / Getty Images

6."Grant Imahara, it was just such a shock given his age, and so tragic as he was by all accounts a brilliant, kind guy. Rest in peace my friend."

Grant Imahara smiles widely wearing a suit.
Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images

7."Naya Rivera. I knew it was unlikely she’d survived being missing in a lake, but it still stung when they announced finding her. Was still hoping for a miracle."

Naya Rivera holds her son Josey up to her, while both smile warmly.
Chris Delmas / AFP via Getty Images

8."5HINee's Kim Jonghyun really hit me hard. I remember the day so clearly, I was at work and I felt my phone go off in my pocket for it to be a BBC news notification about K-pop group Shinee’s Jonghyun found dead, my heart dropped totally. I cried so much and still think about him from time to time. I really do hope he is at peace now."

Jonghyun Kim is casually dressed and has a closed-mouth style in front of a lit-up screen.
Han Myung-gu / WireImage / Getty Images

9."I was 14 when Jim Henson died; lifelong muppets fan. My dad was reading the paper (the paper! how quaint) and told me Jim Henson died. I immediately said 'No he didn't' my dad again confirmed that he died and I remember yelling 'No! He didn't!' Then I sat down and cried."

Jim Henson holds a muppet with his right hand while he poses in front of a toolshop.

"First time I ever cried over a celebrity death. Jim Henson defined my childhood and I still mourn his passing." —Docwillwavealight

Brownie Harris / Getty Images

10."Prince. There are others, but his was the death that affected me the most. Still does."

Prince wears a bright pink wing while he plays the electric guitar.
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

11."Brittany Murphy. I used to watch her movies all the time with a friend of mine who is also now deceased. I still get sad watching her movies."

Brittany Murphy smiles charmingly at the camera while her left hand brushes her hair back.
James Devaney / WireImage / Getty Images

12."Fred Rogers. He was genuinely the nicest man to anyone who ever met him."

Mr. Rogers sits at a desk with his signature cardigan and dons a bright smile.
Fotos International / Getty Images

13."Korean singer/actress Sulli (Choi Jin-ri). I was really sad about Goo Hara and 5HINee's Kim Jonghyun, but I never managed to shed tears for them. Maybe it's because I was closer in age to her, but Sulli's death did make me cry."

Jinri Choi waves at the camera with her right hand.
Ilgan Sports / Multi-Bits via Getty Images

14."Christina Grimmie. I was a huge fan of hers since the beginning, having followed her on YouTube since about 2010. She was only 22 when she was shot in the head and killed at her concert by a crazed fan. Her brother jumped the guy, and the killer ended up shooting himself in the head in the struggle."

Christina Grimmie sits in front of and plays an electronic keyboard while singing at a concernt.
Vivien Killilea / Getty Images

15."I was a child when Steve Irwin died. I remember walking downstairs and the first thing my sister said to me was that he died. I thought she was joking, and then I saw it on the TV, and I burst into tears. I have the DVD he made, and I can't watch it without crying, even now."

Steve Irwin holds a small alligator up to his face while smiling in front of a body of water.
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

16."I was really young when she came on the scene, but I looked up to Aaliyah and was so so sad when i watched the news story of her plane crash and death."

Aaliyah pinches her sunglasses with her right hand; she wears a charming expression.
Sal Idriss / Redferns / Getty Images

17."Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. Bruddah Iz, and 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow', are the reason I now own five ukuleles and that song was the first thing I learned to play. I can’t wait to meet him and maybe sing/play with Iz in heaven."

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole playing a ukelele and singing to a mic.

18."Gene Wilder. I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news; I was sitting down in a sandwich shop and it was broadcast on the store radio. I heard it but it didn't really register at first, but as soon as I got home it hit me and I had to lie down and cry for a few minutes."

Gene Wilder sings in a scene from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, surrounded by life-size candy.
Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images

19."Michael Jackson. As a child in the mid-'80s my mom told me that she could feel me dancing to his music in her womb whenever she played Off The Wall and Thriller and I've never stopped loving his music, dancing and all-round artistry since."

Michael Jackson passionately pumps his fist in the air while his left hand clutches his mic to his mouth.

"June 25 is a bittersweet day of sadness, reflection and joy in my house. A celebration of the man's life and the music he gave us." —godisgoodiambetter

Kmazur / WireImage / Getty Images

20."Satoru Iwata. The fact that such beloved Nintendo games like Earthbound, Smash Bros 64, Pokemon Gold and Silver, amongst many others were made as good as they are or even exist thanks to him is something that I'm still amazed at. It was so heartwarming to see how the whole gaming community joined together to mourn his death. I just wish he'd gotten to see the massive success of the Switch, instead of dying during the dark days of the Wii U. RIP Iwata-san. You've earned it."

Dressed in a suit, Satoru Iwata proudly holds up a Nintendo DS.
Junko Kimura / Getty Images

21."Anthony Bourdain. I'm a chef and his impact on pretty much everyone in my industry is immeasurable. 'Kitchen Confidential' is easily the most impactful book for most of us. The most amazing way of translating and speaking about food/chef culture."

Anthony Bourdain sits at a table with a half-drunk glass of beer and looks to his left at the camera.

"His shows had an amazing way of highlighting other cultures and the way food brings people together no matter where you are from and showing that a lot of our differences are purely cosmetic. That day was easily the quietest day I've ever spent in a professional kitchen in my life — everyone was just silent and upset." —Napo2212

New York Daily News Archive / NY Daily News via Getty Images

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.