RIP Matthew Perry (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Celebrities are just like us…they die. They also put their pants on one leg at a time, if that’s an analogy you’re more comfortable with. Every celebrity death is sad, but some hit harder than others. These are 5 unexpected celebrity deaths that hit me the hardest.

Sometimes, you can see it coming. Other times, their passing comes as a complete shock. Over the years, we’ve had to say an early farewell to some of my favorite celebrities. Some of whom I considered role models. To this day, I’m still getting over some of these unexpected celebrity deaths.

RIP Matthew Perry

The last week has been a sad one, as we lost Matthew Perry and Bob Knight. Matthew Perry was best known for playing Chandler Bing on the hit sitcom Friends. Over the years, Perry brought us countless laughs on the show. For a while, he was one of the most famous people on earth. Chandler was always so relatable, witty, and charming. Nobody could have played the character the way Matty did.

Bob Knight is best remembered as the Head Coach of Indiana Hoosiers from 1971 to 2000. He also coached at Texas Tech and Army. During his career, Knight won 902 NCAA Division I games. At the time of his retirement, that was a record. He’s know fifth all-time in DI wins. Knight won a National Championship as a player at (the) Ohio State University. Then, he won three more NCAA Division I championships coaching Indiana.

Both of those tragic passings happened this week. When you look at 2023 as a whole, there are many more celebrity deaths that broke our hearts. This year, we’ve also lost Jimmy Buffet, TV host Bob Barker, actress Suzanne Somers, NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, actor Michael Gambon, Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell, and more.

Picking out five of the celebrity deaths that hit me the hardest wasn’t easy. There are so many that I think about daily. Even more that hit me hard, and I’ve forgotten. After a while, they start to pile up. Honorable mentions include: Bob Saget, Heath Ledger, and Chadwick Boseman. Here are the five unexpected celebrity deaths that hit me the hardest.

5 Unexpected Celebrity Deaths

  • Anthony Bourdain

    If I could only name one celebrity death that shook me to my core…I’d have to say Anthony Bourdain. I was (still am) a huge fan of everything he did. No Reservations was one of my favorite shows. As was Parts Unknown and even the lesser known The Layover. His book, Kitchen Confidential, was one of my favorite reads. It actually made me want to consider being a chef for a living. However, that dream didn’t last long as I have next to no skills in the kitchen.

    Instead, my focus became doing what Anthony did. He got to travel the world, meet interesting people, and have incredible meals. To me, that would be the best job ever. Anthony was such a unique character and I always appreciated his perspective. If he liked something, you knew it must be good because he wasn’t afraid to tell you if he didn’t.

    His passing left a bit of a hole in my life. The way it happened, the timing, all of it is hard to get over. He was such a great person and so relatable. I still think about him weekly.

  • Kobe Bryant

    I remember when I first learned of Kobe’s passing. I was working and scrolling Twitter when I first saw it. I remember the sinking feeling in my stomach. It couldn’t be real. There’s no way. This has to be one of those crazy made up internet rumors. Then more tweets started coming in. Then the reputable sites started reporting it. It was real. Not only was Kobe gone, but so was his daughter. That made it so much worse.

    Kobe was just entering his next chapter and was having great success. After winning 5 NBA championships and 4 MVP awards, Kobe won an Oscar for Best Animated Short in 2018. During his playing days, Kobe was known for his “Mamba Mentality.” If he wanted it, he was going to get it. Nobody worked harder than Kobe. So, after his retirement it was so great to see him spending time with family and accomplishing goals off the court.

    It still doesn’t feel real. I can’t believe he’s not here. He was Kobe! It always felt like he was invincible. This is another tragic celebrity passing that I think about regularly.

  • Norm Macdonald

    Something you should know about me: I love comedy. However, I’m also very picky about my comedians. I don’t love them all. In order to make me a fan, you have got to have something special. You need that proverbial “it” factor. Nobody had that like Norm Macdonald. Anything he said would make me laugh. He had such a unique sense of humor. He knew exactly how to straddle the line.  Occasionally, he went over the line, sure. But it was still funny. He had a way of softening the blow that can’t be matched. Nobody could do it the way he could.

  • Robin Williams

    When Robin Williams died I remember shedding a tear. His movies were a big part of my childhood, and I could always rely on Robin to make me laugh. No matter how down I was, he could do it. He was one of those people that you felt like you knew. I never met him. I have no personal stories about him or with him. However, he was always someone I felt like I understood. He was hilarious, but then when it was time to get serious, he could deliver that just as well as a joke. Not every comedian can do that. It’s incredibly rare. Some of the funnyman’s best work was in serious films. I think that’s reflective of who he was. It hurts knowing that the people who make us laugh when we’re down are often the ones who could use a laugh the most. This was a hard passing to get over.

  • Princess Diana

    Princess Diana’s untimely passing hit us all hard. I was young when it happened, so at the time I probably wasn’t as affected as many others. However, it’s a death that remains tragic. It shouldn’t have happened. It was preventable. The kids were so young. She was an icon. There’s so much that goes into it that makes the passing even sadder. Then, we watch the kids grow up and see her in them, and in the grandchildren. At the time, it was instantly one of the most tragic passings of all time. Today, it remains the same.

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