Extremely talented and winner of multiple Grammy Awards, British R&B singer Amy Winehouse bid adieu to the world on July 23, 2011.
She was just 27 years old when she died and joined musicians like Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison in the 27 Club.
Many celebrities - Indian and Non-Indian - have died young. Their lives were short but the impact they made was big. They left a lasting impression on the lives of scores of people. MensXP takes a look at some of those celebs who passed away before their time only after making their presence felt strongly in their respective domains.
1. Divya Bharti (February 25, 1974 - April 5, 1993): The actress with amazingly endearing looks was just 19 years old when she breathed her last. After a streak of successful South Indian films, Divya Bharti debuted in Bollywood through a blockbuster titled 'Vishwatma'. Her career, which was touching news heights, was cut short when she fell off from her apartment building. Many in the film fraternity believe that it was a suicide after her fight with her husband Sajid Nadiadwala but the police could not come up with a concrete proof. At the time of her demise, Divya Bharti had been the youngest leading lady of Indian cinema.
2. Guru Dutt (July 9, 1925 - October 10, 1964): Director-actor-producer par excellence, Guru Dutt (aka Vasant Kumar Shivashankar Padukone) was the man who gifted Indian cinema classics like 'Pyaasa', 'Kaagaz Ke Phool', 'Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam', 'Chaudhvin ka Chand', and 'Mr. and Mrs 55'. He is often credited with ushering in the golden era of Hindi cinema. His marriage with singer Geeta Dutt was an unhappy affair and his link-up with actress Waheeda Rehman caused further damage to it. In 1964, Dutt was found dead in his apartment in Mumbai. He is said to have been mixing alcohol and sleeping pills. It is unclear if his death was a suicide or just caused due to an accidental overdose.
3. Meena Kumari (1 August 1932 - 31 March 1972): Born as Mahjabeen Bano, Meena Kumari was an Indian movie actress and poetess. During her 30 years long film career, she starred in almost 100 films, many of which have achieved classic and cult status today. Iconic films like 'Pakeeezah', 'Baiju Bawra', 'Do Bigha Zamin', 'Bandish', 'Bandhan', 'Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam', 'Kohinoor' etc. took her career to great heights. Her personal life was as tragic as the roles she played in many of her films. Three weeks after the release of 'Pakeezah', Meena Kumari became seriously ill, and died on 31 March 1972 of liver cirrhosis. It is said that when she died in a nursing home, she had no money to pay her hospital bills.
4. Smita Patil (October 17, 1955 - December 13, 1986): A recipient of two National Film Awards, a Filmfare Award, and Padma Shri, Smita Patil was an Indian film and television actress and a theatre personality who is ranked among the finest stage and film actresses of her times. When Patil became romantically involved with the actor Raj Babbar (who left his wife Nadira Babbar to marry her), she invited intense criticism from her fans and the media, clouding her personal life and throwing her into the eye of a media storm. Smita died from childbirth complications on 13 December 1986, aged 31, barely two weeks after having given birth to her son, Prateik Babbar.
5. Sanjeev Kumar (July 9, 1938 - 6 November 6, 1985): A contemporary of matinee idols like Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Dharmendra, Rekha and Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kumar (aka Harihar Jariwala) made his presence felt strongly during the 70s and 80s. A winner of two National Film Awards, his role as 'Thakur' in 'Sholay' is still remembered till this day. His affection for Dream Girl Hema Malini became the talk of the B-town. The actor died aged 47, still a bachelor. The most probable cause of his death is said to be excessive drinking.
1. Bruce Lee (November 27, 1940 - July 20, 1973): His films like 'Enter the Dragon', 'Return of the Dragon' and 'Fist of Fury' became trend setters. The Chinese-American martial artist and actor was a cultural icon in the 1960s and founded the Jeet Kune Do martial arts movement. The cause of his death has still not been ascertained. The forensic experts say that he died due to cerebral oedema while some believe that the reason for his death was the wrong administration of drugs. His son Brendon Lee also met his fate at a young age of 28 when he was accidentally shot and killed in North Carolina at the age of 28 while filming 'The Crow'.
2. Kurt Cobain (February 20, 1967 - April 5, 1994): Kurt Donald Cobain was an American musician who served as the lead singer, guitarist, songwriter and frontman for the grunge band 'Nirvana'. The cause of his death has always been shrouded in mystery. Several theories and conspiracy theories (drug overdose, suicide, murder etc.) are still doing the rounds. He had his share of trouble with drugs and other personal issues and it is widely believed that he shot himself to commit suicide at the age of 27. Cobain is remembered as one of the most iconic rock musicians in the history of alternative music; someone who gave voice to teenage angst and rebellion.
3. John Lennon (October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980): He rose to worldwide fame as the founding member of the supergroup The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Lennon also enjoyed considerable success as a solo artist. During the 70s, he became a cultural icon and had attained cult status. He was shot dead by Mark Chapman on a December morning in 1980 in the New York City. Lennon continues to be mourned throughout the world and has been the subject of numerous memorials and tributes.
4. Marylin Monroe (June 1, 1926 - August 5, 1962): Stunning and breathtakingly beautiful Marilyn Monroe, an American actress, Playboy Playmate, singer and model, became a rage during the 50s. She had a string of unsuccessful marriages and affairs including a rumoured one with US President John F Kennedy. Movies like 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes', 'The Seven Year Itch', 'Some Love It Hot', and 'How To Marry a Millionaire' were instrumental in shaping her acting career. At the age of 36, she was discovered dead in her Los Angeles home. The real cause of her death has still not been established and many conspiracy theories still float around.
5. Princess Diana (July 1, 1961 - August 31, 1997): The Princess of Wales became an international personality when she married Charles, Prince of Wales in July 1981. She remained the focus of worldwide media scrutiny during and after her rocky marriage, which ended in a divorce in 1996. She was one of the most beautiful princesses of the 20th Century and remains the most photographed woman of her time. Diana's death in a car crash after a hot chase by paparazzi raised many questions on the undue interference of media into the private lives of celebrities. Her son William, the second in line to the British throne just got married with much fanfare. (MensXP.com)