6 Mysterious Hollywood Deaths That Still Haunt Us

mysterious hollywood deaths

Rarely am I ever shocked by the contents of a book, but while reading THE HOLLYWOOD BOOK OF DEATH this week I almost dropped it in complete and utter disbelief. Did you know that Richard Farnsworth, who played sweet Matthew Cuthbert in the beloved ‘80s ANNE OF GREEN GABLES miniseries killed himself at the age of 80? He had been suffering with painful cancer and shot himself on his ranch.

I know, you’re as shocked as I was.

Many celebrities, whether they’re A-listers or long-forgotten screen stars, had seriously crazy, sometimes shocking deaths. Wanna get creepy with me? Of course you do.


Natalie Wood Photo: Wikimedia Commons


No one knows for sure exactly what happened the night Natalie Wood drowned. Wood was out on her boat with husband Robert Wagner and friend Christopher Walken and may have argued with Wagner before leaving the boat in a small dinghy. Wood had a fear of water her whole life, which makes it doubly sad that she eventually died by drowning. The details of the case are still murky. (All three main cast members of the classic REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE died young: Wood, James Dean, and Sal Mineo.)


Jayne Mansfield Photo: Wikimedia Commons


This brainy blonde bombshell and mother of MARISKA HARGITAY was not decapitated in the car accident that took her life, though that’s the popular rumor. Rather, she and three others were killed instantly, though Jayne’s sleeping children in the backseat were barely bruised. The decapitation rumor stemmed from Jayne’s blonde wig, which flew off on impact.

Ramon Navarro

Ramon Navarro Photo: Wikimedia Commons


This old-Hollywood star was murdered in his home by two young hustlers he’d called over for sex. The two brutally beat him, and he choked to death on his own blood. They tried to arrange the crime scene to look as though a woman, disgruntled over Navarro’s homosexuality, had killed him in disgust. The two had come looking for money, but found only $42. Both were jailed and released relatively quickly, but imprisoned soon enough for various crimes.

Lupe Velez

Lupe Velez Photo: Wikimedia Commons


The actress attempted to kill herself with pills. However, she felt nauseous and went to the bathroom to vomit, where she slipped and fell headfirst into the toilet. She drowned there and wasn’t discovered until the next day by her maid.

George Reeve

George Reeves Photo: Wikimedia Commons


The original Superman struggled with the ubiquity of that role for the rest of his career. He simply couldn’t escape being Superman. Reeves was found dead in 1959 from a single gunshot wound. It was officially ruled a suicide, though many think he was murdered.

Gram Parsons

Gram Parsons Photo: Wikimedia Commons


After the musician died of an overdose, his father tried to move the body against Gram’s wishes so he could cash in on his estate. Parsons’ friends stole the body and took it to Joshua Tree, as Parsons had intended, then lit it on fire. There wasn’t a law against stealing bodies at the time, so they got away with only a $75 fee.

This article originally appeared on The Lineup.

Photos: Wikimedia Commons

  • greg

    Christopher Walken killed Natalie Wood, it was a very odd relationship between the 3 of them, sex between the 3, drunk parties, waking up in each others beds in Robert Wagners house, something happened that night and Walken hit her with a heavy object, she fell over and when the 2 guys jumped in looking for her it was very dark, they were loaded, and she was gone. She washed up on the coast in Malibu the next morning.

    • Natural

      I believe this to be true and it will probably come out after Walken dies and they find his confession.

      • greg

        Way back I used to live in Venice, Ca. and was partying and hanging out with a large group that included many celebrities i.e. Nicholson, Wagner, Belushi, etc. Walken and Wagner were known amongst the group to be very “close” when being that close wasn’t OK, were some amazing fun crazy times. There are stories that could fill many books

    • Mae Blackwood

      Yeah, you are full of shit. Does lying on the internet make you feel super cool or. . .?

      Here are a few things about the murder, not your bullshit party days.

      Why would he try to kill het and then go and try to find her? With her husband none-the-less.

      How did they hop back on the boat? Did the captain help? Wouldn’t he have seen or heard something?

      Oh, and she was only a mile from the boat (a small rubber dingy not far from her). It wouldn’t have been too hard to spot her if they leapt off the boat so early after her being tossed overboard. She was floating when they found her.

      This girl died tragically, whether it be murder or accidental, you are using her death to sound cool in the comment section of a news site.

      Stfu and pay a little respect.

      • greg

        as hard as it may be for you to believe what I wrote it’s true, I could answer your questions but my post wasn’t to convince you or anyone else. However 1. They didn’t want to find her, but they had to act like they looked 2. Robt. Wagner captained his own boat and getting back on a boat isn’t hard when there’s a rope ladder 3. In the ocean late at night it is pitch black, you can’t see 2-3 ft. ahead of you, and again they didn’t want to bring her back. How is it “cool” ~30 years later? Anyhow believe what you want, and FYI, OJ was guilty, and 9/11 was not an inside job, hope that insight makes me look even cooler.

        • Jess

          I like your story 🙂 it’s gotta be hard knowing the truth though. That would eat me up!

          • greg

            It’s one of those things that when it happened and it was obvious that those 2 were going to get away with the crime I wanted to do anything I could. As I got older (I was ~21) and I was made aware of some other issues I just went about my life and figured someday he’ll get his. What was VERY uncomfortable was when I owned a video store in Brentwood Village and Wagner would come in every Thursday, we talked like we had years before, I made no comments about what I “knew” and all was good. Whether some believe me or not I know what I know and feel no need to try to prove anything. Things were much different at the time and I was fortunate enough to get involved with a very well known acting crowd who partied hard 7 nights a week. At Chi Lin, Chateau Marmount, and several other restaurants where we’d sit til 3-4am. Lost too many friends from that time period

          • Pickles

            For someone who claims to know so much, why did you not know there was a captain on board and she was found floating and did not wash up? You’re full of crap.

          • Sharon Dodrer

            Aren’t you afraid that by telling now there might be retaliation ?

          • greg

            Honestly, no, life’s too short to waste time looking over one’s shoulder, beside, I can out run Robt. Wagner LOL

        • Daisy

          What proof do you have that 911 wasn’t an inside job? Just curious. I like to hear other people’s opinions on certain serious issues

          • greg

            I’m not even going to justify that with a response, if you believe it was than you believe in the tooth fairy and santa claus

          • Daisy

            First of all, why are you sooo nasty? And secondly, i guess a person can’t justify something when they don’t have a CLUE!!
            Life is to SHORT TO BE SOO Miserable, but thanks anyway!! 🙂
            You have yourself a good day! SIR.

          • Audra Eubanks

            Woe… wait a minute! Are you saying there is no tooth fairy, or Santa Claus?

          • greg

            I am so sorry, had I known you were going to look I would have used another example, I do hope you can get past knowing this, I feel terrible now 🙁

          • josette63

            well, imo….israel and the US got exactly what they wanted….an eventual war with Iraq so that israel could attain financial control in that country. as it stands now, the only banks in the entire world israel does not control (yet) are North Korea, Syria and Iran. israel controls every bank in the US as the control is thru the Roths who, incidentally, own the Federal Reserve. so, back to 9/11….2 buildings which could easily have business and visitors to the tune of 40 thousand people in those buildings, strangely only had less than 3 thousand that tues morning. note: everyone who works will blow off a Mon. or a Fri. for the long weekend but NO ONE doesn’t show up for work on tues. however on that tues, only a handful of (non-jews) showed. please do not scream anti-semite as i am a jew. also, it might interest you to know only 1 jew died that day….guess he missed the message to stay home. the US allowed this because the US is owned by israel. there are 535 people in DC who control the nation. 527 of them are either backing israel or hold dual citizenship with israel. this is also a non-partisan situation.

          • chaya

            Only one Jew died tbat day? Are you mad? I personally know that many Jewish people died on 9/11. Go ba k to your misspent conspiracy theories and be quiet

          • Daisy

            Wow, it’s sad when these politicians try to play GOD!!

          • Gloria Sangalli

            911 was not available when NW died

          • Daisy

            Thank you for being so nice in response, but I’m sorry, when who died?

          • greg


        • Ronald Tregan

          On that particular trip the boat was captained by a man named Dennis Davern. look it up. Not saying you’re wrong im just fact checking.

          • Max N Mary Sanchez

            I will always believe that Wagner did it in jealous rage! I will believe that whole heartedly;)

        • Patricia Young Peters

          You don’t know what your talking about

      • Robin Perkins

        I agree. Unless you were there you have no idea what happened. You shoulld also never speak ill of the dead. That is beyond disrespectful.

      • Paulette Casey

        Where is your proof? You are only speculating what you think happened

    • Gloria Sangalli

      I for 1 second do not believe CW killed her..her husband on the other hand stinks to high heaven!!! And leaving her in that water knowing her fear..made it absolute cruel…

    • NAB58

      She didn’t wash up on a Malibu shore. The coast guard found her the next morning floating facedown in the Pacific.

    • Cassi Andreis Rubiski

      Absolutely 100% agree & sounds more plausible than the accidental drowning that is so commonly told.

    • Marge Balogh Jr.

      he hit her with a cowbell. all kidding aside, I agree a 3some gone bad and she was the weakest of the 3 SO SAD she was great. RIParadise Natalie

    • Patricia Young Peters

      Were you there? Do you have facts ?

      • greg

        I wasn’t on the boat the night this happened, no, however among a very small circle of people who know the dynamic of those 3 people there’s little to no doubt of what happened

        • Patricia Young Peters

          I just like facts and not hearsay

          • Patricia Young Peters

            And if they did do it, I don’t know how he sleeps at night

          • greg

            well medicated, that’s how

          • Patricia Young Peters

            I always believed it was strange she would go in a dingy at night when she was so afraid of water…. Thank you tho for your insight….

          • Jeff Mccall

            He is more likely than not a sociopath,no empathy or remorse.

          • greg

            As do I, however 1 is dead and 2 won’t talk to you so this is as good as it’s gonna get

        • Pickles

          Yeah sure, yet you have so many of the basic known facts wrong.

    • Kristine H

      Yeah, your full of shit and you act like you were there. The lifeguard that rescued N. Wood’s body from the water says Wood was likely alive for hours after she entered the water. Also…

      “She probably cried for help for hours,” he told the LA Times. “I’ve always believed she could have been saved. Her fingers were still pliable when she was pulled from the water, suggesting she had not been dead for hours.”

      He never said she was hit in the head nor was there any report of it in the autopsy.


      • greg

        Believe what you want, calling me names for posting something you do not believe truly doesn’t bother me other than the fact that I say what I say based on knowing those involved and you post based on what you read in the LA Times, and you call me names, really? BTW, nowhere did I say I was there, as for her crying for hours, very possible. Anyway some day after they’re gone the truth will somehow come out, but not until then.

        • Sara Greene

          I have always loved reading about old and new Hollywood stars. The 1960’s and 1970’s stories mysteries. Way bfore my time but a time of music love and peace. U need to write a book.

        • Kristine H

          No, you read my post wrong. I didn’t say YOU said that she cried for hours. I said that’s what the guy that found her body had stated, but again, her autopsy didn’t reveal any head injury. I believe your’e right about the part that the truth will come out.

        • Kristine H

          ” something happened that night and Walken hit her with a heavy object, she fell over and when the 2 guys jumped in looking for her it was very dark, they were loaded, and she was gone. ” That right there seems that you were actually there.. Again, her autopsy revealed No blunt trauma to her head. If you have any evidence saying otherwise, I would really like to see it

        • Kristine H

          greg Patricia Young Peters • 2 days ago
          As do I, however 1 is dead and 2 won’t talk to you so this is as good as it’s gonna get…
          So, if no one is talking, then how did you come to the conclusion that Walken hit her in the head with a heavy object?

        • Kristine H

          Anyways, whatever happened, I really do hope and can’t wait for the actual truth of what happened to surface

      • Patricia Young Peters

        I don’t believe she would of been I’ve for hours with the cold water and heavy soaking wet clothing…

        • Kristine H

          There were a bunch of ships that has crashed and had sunk in the ocean and the passengers survived after being in the cold waters for hours. It depends on how cold the water temperature was at that time. I swam in the ocean for hours and even though it was really cold, it was fun and I survived.

    • Kathleen McClellan Gruber

      I always heard it was Robert Wagner that did it, but I honestly don’t know. Despite a lot of speculation they have never been able to charge anyone with murder so saying Christopher Walken did it is defamation, unless of course you can PROVE he did it.

  • Miranda Lewis

    In my opinion the only ones that know what happened to these poor souls are the ones it happened to, the people that were there and the good Lord. I just hope that whomever is involved can sleep at night and that those that have passed my R.I.P.

    • Surfan

      That would be “whoever”.

  • Amanda Timothy
  • wldflwrs

    Lupe Velez being found in the toilet has been found to be non-factual and a figment of one author’s overactive imagination. fyi

    • Jeff Mccall

      Cool story though

  • Jeff

    Interesting! I’ve found another article, including the controversial ones: http://www.investigatingcrimes.com/9-famous-hollywood-murders/

  • Marge Balogh Jr.

    acually I think it was RW not CW….but just a feeling ….

  • Stephanie Rosas

    Maybe we just need to change in the way we speak to each other and be respectful cause non of us know any of that stuff is a fact we weren’t there so maybe when we want to give our opinion we can start by saying well in my opinion I think this is what happened that way if somebody does say u don’t know anything bla bla bla we can simply say that’s why I said it was an opinion not a fact and everybody just needs to be nice to each other it’s not that hard

  • Suzie

    Ms Wood did NOT wash up the next morning on Malibu. your whole story is simply that, a story

  • John Field

    The Lupe Vellez fantasy sory was dreampt up by Kenneth Anger to make his Shi__y Hollywood Babylon books sell better.

  • Justtakethepicture

    Nothing mysterious about Natalie Wood’s death. Ask the captain of the boat.