We have rounded up a collection of the last known photographs captured of famous celebrities before they died. For every picture that you see, there was also a tragedy. But those who have left us will always live on through the contributions they have made while they were alive. They may be gone, but they are definitely not forgotten.
John Lennon. Signing a copy of his new album Double Fantasy for his killer (pictured on the right) Mark Chapman, just hours before the murder on monday, 8th of December 1980. He was shot in the back 4 times by Chapman outside his home at The Dakota building New York after returning from the studio with his wife Yoko Ono. John Lennon was 40 years old when he was killed. Chapman eventually pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life. As of 2015 remains in prison, having been denied parole eight times.
James Dean. The very last photo(s) of James Dean, aged only 24, and taken hours before his death in his beloved Porche 550 Spyder on Route 466 in California on September 30 in 1955. The second photograph shows Dean with mechanic Rolf Wutherich in the passengers seat on the morning of the fatal crash that killed Dean and injured Wutherich. Some claim that the picture of Dean at the petrol station is actually the last ever photo so we have decided to show both and let you decide?.
Jimmy Hendrix. Photo’s of Jimmy Hendrix taken the day before he died by his girlfriend Monika Danneman, behind her apartment in the garden of the Samarkand Hotel in London. Hendrix died of asphyxiation in his sleep due to barbiturate intoxication the next morning on September 18 1970,only a few steps away from where the photo was taken. Danneman had found Hendrix after returning from buying cigarettes sometime between 10 and 10:20 am unconscious and unresponsive. He was rushed to the hospital by ambulance and sent to the resuscitation room and put on an ECG moniter where several attempts to revive him were made. The surgical registrar commented that “he had all the parameters of someone who had been dead for some time” and was officially pronounced dead at 12:45pm. He was 27 years old.
Marilyn Monroe. Relaxed and playful, Marilyn Monroe looks beautiful as she poses happily with jazz pianist Buddy Greco on a weekend with friends in August 1962. Five days later she was dead aged 36 at her home on August 5, 1962 of a suspected overdose from a huge consumption of barbiturates. The weekend the picture was taken is now part of history as it was on this trip that Monroe was alleged to have been urged to keep quite about her affair with the Kennedy brothers. Her death is surrounded in conspiracy theories, with many believing she was murdered to make sure she never revealed the affair.
Jim Morrison. The last shots of Jim Morrison taken in the town of Saint-Leu-d’Esserent, roughly 34 miles north of Paris. Taken one week before he died on July 3 1971. The absence of an official autopsy has left many questions regarding Morrisons cause of death in his rented Parisian apartment at 17-19 on the rue Beautreillis on the right bank side of the city. Morrison had joined his long-term girlfriend Pamela Courson in Paris earlier in March 1971 and had taken up residence in the Paris apartment together. On the day of his death he was first discovered by Courson dead in the bath tub. No autopsy was performed because the medical examiner stated that there was no evidence of foul play. When Courson returned back to the U.S she later told The Doors band manager and author Danny Sugerman contradictory versions of Morrison’s death. Courson had stated that he died of a heroin overdose after inhaling what he thought was cocaine. She has also said that she had killed Morrison and that it was her fault. However the story of his unintentional ingestion of heroin which resulted in a hemorrhage and Courson falling asleep instead of phoning for medical help, leaving Morrison to bleed to death seems to be the probable outcome of his death. He was 27 years old.
Freddie Mercury. A very frail and thin looking Freddie Murcury in the backyard of his home at Garden Lodge, 1 Logan Place Kensington, London in 1991. He died in his home not long after the picture was taken after having fallen ill with bronchial pneumonia, the result of a tiring and futile battle with AIDS on the evening of November 24 1991, aged 45 years old. A statement on behalf of Mercury the day before he died read by Queen’s manager read;
Following the enormous conjecture in the press over the last two weeks, i wish to confirm that i have been tested positive and have AIDS. I felt it correct to keep this information private to date to protect the privacy of those around me. However, the time has come now for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and i hope that everyone will join with me, my doctors and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease. My privacy has always been very special to me and i am famous for my lack of interviews. Please understand this policy will continue. (Freddie Murcury).
Amy Winehouse. Walking on the streets of London, a week before her death at 27 years old. Winehouse’s bodyguard has said that he arrived at her residence in Camden, London three days before her death and mentioned that she was somewhat intoxicated. On the day of her death at 2 am he saw her laughing, listening to music and watching TV. The next time he checked Winehouse was at 10 am and thought she was asleep despite trying unsuccessfully to rouse her. According to the bodyguard, shortly after 3 pm he checked her again and observed her lying in the same position as earlier, leading him to check closer and discovering that she was not breathing and had no pulse. He then called emergency services and 2 ambulances arrived shortly after. Winehouse was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:54 pm on 23 July 2011. A coroner’s inquest reached a verdict of death by misadventure attributed to an accident which occurred due to a dangerous risk which was taken voluntarily. Winehouse’s blood alcohol content was more than five times the legal drink-drive limit and according to the coroner “The unintended consequences of such potentially fatal levels was her sudden death”.
Heath Ledger. A smiling Heath Ledger on the set of The Imaginarium of Doctor Panassus. On January 22, 2008, Ledger was found unconscious in his bed by the housekeeper and his masseuse, at his apartment in the SoHo area of Manhattan, New York. Medical technicians arrived at the flat but were unable to revive him and was pronounced dead at 3:36 pm. The cause of Death was an accidental intoxication from prescription drugs. Ledger had revealed to The New York Times earlier in November 2007 that he was taking a prescription drug called Ambien for insomnia, which is the drug likely to have caused his death. He was 28 years old.
Bob Marley. The last photo’s of Bob Marley. They were taken in early 1981 while Marley was in Munich, Germany after undergoing a controversial cancer treatment under Dr. Joseph Issels, which was based on the avoidance of certain foods, drinks and other substances. Marley was diagnosed with a type of malignant melanoma cancer under the nail of a toe in 1977 and had turned down his doctors advice to have is toe amputated, But contrary to urban myth it wasn’t caused by a fatal football match. Soon after the photo’s were taken Marley boarded a plane back home to Jamaica, but after landing in Miami on route to Jamaica, his health deteriorated even more and he was taken to Cedars of Lebanon Hospital (now the University of Miami Hospital). He died aged 36 years old in hospital on May 11, 1981.
His final words to his son Ziggy were “Money can’t buy life”.
Frank Zappa. This photo was taken by a Swedish journalist when he was in LA in August 1993. Frank told him that it was such a long time he had done an interview and especially with a Swedish reporter. He then spent a little more than an hour at the Zappa residence talking to Frank. To everybody’s Knowledge this is the last official picture of Zappa. He died from Prostate cancer on December 4, 1993 aged 52 in Los Angeles, California.
Brittany Murphy. Posing at her last red carpet event on December 1. 2009. The 32 year old actress died of a cardiac arrest a couple of weeks later on December 20, 2009. Her death was ruled accidental with pneumonia and anemia, exacerbated by a mixture of over the counter cold medications. But when her husband British filmmaker Simon Monjack, was found dead of the same cause five months later, some suspicions were raised. Murphy’s mother has said in a documentary that in the days before her death the Hollywood actress was “paranoid” and lived a “completely mad” existence with her husband.
Keith Moon. On September 6, 1978, The legendary drummer Keith Moon and his girlfriend Annette Walter-Lax were invited as guests to Paul McCartney’s pre-party celebrations and premier of the film The Buddy Holly Story. Moon was on medication to curb his alcohol cravings and had earlier decided not to go to the party due to the fear of drinking, but changed his mind after taking some cocaine. At the party friends had noticed he was acting subdued and not his usual self. He had a couple of glasses of champagne and took a few of his anti-alcohol pills. After returning to his London flat from the party , Moon watched a movie (The Abominable Dr. Phibes), ate a meal after arguing with Walter-Lax and took more pills (reputed to be 32 Clomethiazole tablets), his last known words were “If you don’t like it, you can fuck off!!”. When Walter-Lax returned back to the flat the following afternoon, she discovered that he was dead. The date of his death, September 7, 1978. he was 32 years old. The cause of death was accidental overdose.
Elvis Presley. The last known photo of 42 year old Elvis Presley, who was driving back into Graceland after returning from a late night dentist visit with his girlfriend Ginger Alden. Elvis then took care of last minute details for a concert in Portland, Maine where he was meant to be flying to the following evening to kick off his tour, he then relaxed with family and staff before retiring to his master suite at Graceland around 7 am. By late morning on August 16, 1977, Elvis was dead of heart failure, face down in the bathroom reading a book. Drug use was also heavily implicated in Presley’s death and suggested the possibility of an anaphylactic shock brought on by the codeine tablets he was also taking. Also a couple of lab reports filed Two months later strongly suggested that polypharmacy was the primary cause of death and that there were fourteen different kinds of drugs in his system.
Kurt Cobain. It was the last formal photo-shoot of the legendary Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain with photographer Jesse Frohman, just months before his tragic suicide in April 1994. Cobain eventually showed up three hours late and needing a bucket to throw up into. The photo-shoot only lasted 3o minutes and was done at a midtown Manhatten hotel in November 1993 for the London Sunday Observer magazine. The band were one month away from releasing their highly anticipated third album In Utero, after sparking the grunge trend with the seminal album Nevermind two years earlier. In Utero entered the Billboard charts at number one and has since been certified five times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. On friday, April 8, 1994, Kurt Cobain was discovered in the living quarters above his garage at his Lake Washington house by an electrician. A shotgun was discovered resting on his chest. The death certificate stated that his death was a result of a “contact perforating shotgun wound to the head” and concluded his death was suicide. A report stated that Cobain probably died three days earlier. And another member of the 27 Club.