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Top 10 Tragic Celebrity Love Stories

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Regan Fischer
Script written by Regan Fischer We were deeply saddened to hear about the death of these celebrities’ partner. Sadly, acquiring fame doesn’t leave you any less likely to suffer a tragedy. For this list, we’ll be taking a look at the most heartbreaking stories of love and loss that showed us that celebrities are people, too. We’ve included couples like Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi, Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III, Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner, Lea Michele and Cory Monteith, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Christopher Reeve and Dana Reeve, Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson, Pierce Brosnan and Cassandra Harris, and Steve Irwin and Terri Irwin.
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Top 10 Tragic Celebrity Love Stories



Sadly, acquiring fame doesn’t leave you any less likely to suffer a tragedy. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down the Top Ten Tragic Celebrity Love Stories.


For this list, we’ll be taking a look at the most heartbreaking stories of love and loss that showed us that celebrities are people, too.



#10: Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi

(m. 1975-2009)



Patrick Swayze caused much swooning in his heartthrob roles in films like “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost”. Lisa Niemi certainly didn’t get with him for his stardom though: the pair met when they were teens. She even later directed one of his films, the prophetically-titled “One Last Dance”. Swayze was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2007; his battle lasted only 20 months and he died in 2009. Niemi expressed her deep pain after his passing, saying she had hoped the months leading to his death would have helped her come to terms with his diagnosis, but they had not. His fans certainly can relate, if only from a distance.







#9: Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III

(m. 1956-1982)



This whirlwind romance is the stuff of fairytales. Grace Kelly, famous star of such films as Hitchcock’s “Rear Window,” was an American bombshell, and Rainier III the love-seeking literal Prince of Monaco. In 1956, Kelly got her desired role of a lifetime and became his wife, and Princess of Monaco, in one of the most lavish and celebrated weddings on the 20th century. She stopped her acting career to devote herself to her marriage and raising a family. The two stayed together until her death in 1982; Kelly was only 52 when she suffered a stroke while driving, and her car ran off the road.








#8: Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner

(m.1984-1989)



This duo was a match made in comedic heaven. The high-spirited “Saturday Night Live” alum Gilda Radner married the famous Mr. Wonka in 1984. The two met on the set of the thriller “Hanky Panky”; Radner later wrote, of their first meeting, that he made her heart flutter. The many laughs we assume they shared together only lasted a fairly short while, however. Gilda passed away in 1989 from ovarian cancer. Gene publicly expressed his anger and grief over her death, claiming that because of medical misdiagnosis, something could have been done to prevent her passing.





#7: Lea Michele and Cory Monteith

(relationship: 2012-2013)



This romance came straight from the small screen, to the joy of teenage shippers everywhere. Rachel Berry and Finn Hudson from “Glee” fell in love, as their characters, as well as their real-life selves. Michele and Monteith began dating in 2012, but, tragically, never got their happy ending. Struggling with his dependency to drugs, Monteith succumbed to his addiction in 2013, dying of an overdose. His death broke both Lea’s heart and the hearts of everyone who loved him in “Glee”. The cast gave Cory a tearful and loving goodbye in their touching tribute to Finn in the episode “The Quarterback”.








#6: John Lennon and Yoko Ono

(m.1969-1980)



The controversy behind their relationship followed Lennon and Ono right up to the day he died: December 8th, 1980. Despite heavy blame from fans being placed on Yoko for the split of The Beatles, the famous couple’s love persisted, and the two wed in 1969. In over a decade together they created both beautiful, challenging music as well as a son, Sean Ono Lennon. Before they were able to continue their lives together, Lennon was murdered by Mark Chapman while walking out of the The Dakota Apartments in New York City. We didn’t have to “Imagine” John and Yoko’s love: it was for real.



#5: Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams

(relationship: 2004-05; 2007)



After meeting on the set of “Brokeback Mountain”, Williams and Ledger fell head over heels for each other. Their romance was chaotic but beautiful, and in 2005 Williams gave birth to their daughter Matilda Ledger. Following that momentous event, their stressful relationship became too much for both, and the two parted ways; yet they still remained close friends, particularly for the sake of their daughter. A few years later, though, all signs pointed to a reconciliation of the couple. But hopes of the beautiful couple reconnecting were lost when Ledger, like Cory Monteith, was found dead of a drug overdose.





#4: Pierce Brosnan and Cassandra Harris

(m. 1980-1991)



They shared a bond. A life bond. Cassandra Harris had a role in Roger Moore’s classic “For Your Eyes Only” in 1981. She was already married to the dashing Pierce Brosnan, but through her, he met the producers of the Bond films and later . . . well, you know. She also occasionally appeared in Brosnan’s 1980s breakout TV show, “Remington Steele”. Tragically, Harris is the second woman on our list to have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer; the terrible disease took her life in 1991. As if the death of his wife wasn’t enough heartache, in 2017 his daughter Charlotte Brosnan died of the same disease that killed her mother.







#3: Steve Irwin and Terri Irwin

(m. 1992-2006)




Australian Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, is one of the most celebrated and beloved animal experts of all time. More than a decade later, his fandom is still trying to process the conservationist’s sudden passing. While filming for his iconic TV show, which naturalist Terri also appeared on, Steve was killed when a stingray stung him in the heart. Terri and their two children, Bindi and Robert continue to keep on his legacy through their work with animals and wildlife preservation. Terri has said that she hasn’t even gone on a date since Steve’s passing, as she already had her “happy ever after”.







#2: Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson

(m.1994-2009)




Some of the most tragic deaths come from seemingly innocuous accidents. While on a ski vacation near Montreal with her son Micheál, film star Natasha Richardson decided to take a beginner’s ski lesson. During the lesson, Natasha had a tumble in the snow, as she was able to tell her husband, Neeson. But, horribly, the fall had caused an undiagnosed brain injury, which then caused her death two days later. Five years after her passing, Neeson opened up about heartbreaking details of her death, including the heartbreaking fact that they had made a pact early on in their relationship that they would pull the plug if either of them ever became permanently incapacitated.





Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions


Brittany Murphy and Simon Monjack

(m. 2007-2009)






Clark Gable and Carole Lombard

(m. 1939-1942)





Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio

(m.1954-1955)







#1: Christopher Reeve and Dana Reeve

(m. 1992-2004)



Christopher Reeve is justly famed for his iconic turn as Superman but can also be remembered for his love for horses and, on another level, his wife Dana. In 1995 while competing in an equestrian show, Christopher was thrown off of his mount, leaving him a quadriplegic. He spent the rest of his life wheelchair-bound, but he and his wife continuously lobbied for the rights of those with spinal cord injuries. Christopher succumbed to his injuries in 2004, and a mere two years later Dana passed away from lung cancer. The pair will always be remembered for their strong marriage and how they fought for the rights of others. Truly, superpeople.


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