Hollywood stars may seem bigger than life, but of course, they are just as delicate to life’s tragedies, consisting of the opportunity of dice at a young age. When the unexpected loss the a love one is constantly horrible, the lose of a young person is an especially heartbreaking. Sadly, Hollywood has experienced fairly a couple of child star deaths. This 19 beloved young actors passed away much too soon.

You are watching: Child actors who died in 2016

1. Sawyer Sweeten (1995–2015)


The actors of Everybody Loves Raymond at the 57th annual Emmy Awards | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Most well-known for: Everybody Loves RaymondCause the death: Suicide

Many world recognize the twins who played beam Romano’s sons on Everybody Loves Raymond. Sadly, Sawyer Sweeten, among the brothers, shoot himself on his family’s front porch in Texas.

His sister, who likewise appeared top top Everybody Loves Raymond together his enlarge sibling, post on Facebook, “At this time i would like to encourage everyone to reach the end to the ones friend love. Let them have no doubt the what they average to you.”

Next: This famous little face didn’t live past 12 year old.

2. Heath O’Rourke (1975–1988)


Heather O’Rourke in Poltergeist | Warner Bros.

Most recognized for: PoltergeistCause of death: Septic shock and also cardiac arrest

After her breakout role in the 1982 fear film Poltergeist, boy actor heather O’Rourke starred in its two sequels, Poltergeist II: The other Side and also Poltergeist III. In the an initial film, the angelic-looking O’Rourke dram the function of Carol anne Freeling, the youngest daughter in a household whose home is plagued by a superordinary apparition.

The Poltergeist movie poster, featuring O’Rourke with her hand on a static television display screen is one of the many iconic ever. And the “they’re here” line she it is intended in the movie is so famed The American movie Institute consisted of it on their perform of peak movie quotes from the critical 100 years.

Sadly, Poltergeist III was the critical film O’Rourke made. Numerous months prior to filming began, medical professionals misdiagnosed O’Rourke with Crohn’s disease. Unfortunately, they walk not discover their misdiagnosis until it was too late. ~ above Jan. 31, 1988, O’Rourke collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. According to the Los Angeles Times, doctors discovered a longstanding bowel obstruction. An effort to surgically remove the blockage brought about septic shock, and she suffered cardiac arrest. O’Rourke passed away at just 12 year old.

3. Johnny Lewis (1983–2012)


Actors Johnny Lewis (L) and also David Keith talk at the after-party because that Raise her Voice. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Most well-known for: Sons that AnarchyCause that death: Accident

Although he acted because age five, Johnny Lewis’s big break came at 16 years old as soon as he appeared on Malcolm in the Middle and also 7th Heaven. He later had actually roles on hit shows favor Smallville, The O.C., Drake & Josh, and Boston Public. Both before and also after his well-known function on Sons that Anarchy, Lewis had devastating run-ins with the law, consisting of residential burglary and assault and also battery.

In October 2011, Lewis was associated in a motorcycle crash and suffered head injuries. His behavior and also mental capacity later worsened, resulting in an in-jail diagnosis of inner bleeding in the brain. In ~ one time, his probation officer identified Lewis’ chemistry dependency and also mental health and wellness issues.

In 2012, Lewis gone into rehab for drug abuse and also seemed to improve. Top top release, he died from either falling or jumping off a roof. His death was eventually ruled an accident.

Next: domestic violence finished this small girl’s life.

4. Judith Barsi (1978–1988)


(L) Judith Barsi, (Top R) Judith’s parents, (Lower R) the crime step | YouTube

Most known for: The Land prior to Time Cause the death: Murder

Hollywood to be shocked as soon as 10-year-old boy star Judith Barsi passed away at the hand of her suicidal father in 1988. In addition to her mother, the voice actress was shot, killed, and collection on fire in the household garage, prior to her dad rotate the total on himself.

Barsi was especially known because that lending she voice to The Land before Time (as “Ducky”) and All Dogs walk to Heaven, as well together acting in Jaws: Revenge and more.


Brad Renfro signing autographs | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Most known for: The ClientCause the death: Heroin overdose

Child gibbs Brad Renfro make his big-screen debut in the critically acclaimed 1994 thriller The Client, based ~ above a man Grisham novel by the exact same name. In the film, 11-year-old Renfro dram the lead role of note Sway, a young boy that witnesses the suicide of a mob-connected lawyer. Renfro’s well-received performance resulted in roles in other significant motion pictures, consisting of Tom and also Huck, The Cure, Sleepers, and Apt Pupil.

Unfortunately, Renfro’s raising drug use derailed his promising exhilaration career. After being cited for medicine possession in the so late ‘90s, Renfro earned additional notoriety as soon as he to be arrested because that attempting to steal a yacht, together reported through the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. In 2002, he to be ordered right into a three-month rehab program adhering to an arrest because that public intoxication. In 2005, Renfro tried to acquisition heroin indigenous an undercover LA police officer, who subsequently arrested him. On January 15, 2008, the 25-year-old was found dead the a heroin overdose through his friends.

Next: This kid star can not escape her demons.

6. Dana Plato (1964–1999)


Dana Plato on the TV present Diff’rent Strokes | Embassy Pictures

Most known for: Diff’rent StrokesCause the death: Suicide

Like Coleman, Dana Plato discovered fame as a child actor on the ’80s sitcom Diff’rent Strokes. Plato played Kimberly Drummond, the teenage daughter the a affluent white widower that adopts 2 African-American brothers. Follow to human being Magazine, Plato began abusing alcohol and also Valium when she was only 14 years old. In 1984, the show dismissed Plato after ~ she became pregnant, return she made numerous appearances in the last 1985–1986 season.

Despite she fame from Diff’rent Strokes, Plato discovered it an overwhelming to discover quality work. In the late ‘80s and also early ‘90s, she posed for Playboy magazine and also starred in several forgettable B-movies. Approximately the exact same time, several personal tragedies struck as soon as her husband divorce her, her mommy passed away, and an accountant stole most of her money. She likewise lost custody of her son because of her drug and alcohol problems.

In 1991, Plato hit absent bottom when police arrested she for a video clip store robbery, i beg your pardon earned her 5 years the probation and also a insignificant in rehab. Unfortunately, Plato never totally kicked her medicine habit. On may 8, 1999, she fiancé uncovered Plato in their Winnebago motorhome, dead the a drug overdose. A clinical examiner rule the 34-year-old’s death a suicide.

Next: Addiction finished this child star’s promising career.

7. Flow Phoenix (1970–1993)

Most recognized for: Stand through MeRunning top top EmptyCause the death: Drug overdose

A promising young actor and musician, flow Phoenix’s breakout role was in 1986’s Stand through Me. Although he’s finest known for acting, this talented star additionally sang and played etc for Aleka’s Attic, a tape he developed with his sister, Rain. Phoenix’s well-received power in Stand by Me led to roles in major motion pictures, including The Mosquito Coast, A Night in the Life the Jimmy Reardon, and Little Nikita.

In 1988, Phoenix garnered one Academy award nomination for best Actor in a Supporting function for his portrayal that a counterculture couple’s kid in Sidney Lumet’s Running on Empty. The adhering to year, he had actually a small function as a young Indiana Jones in Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the last Crusade. In 1991, Phoenix delivered another critically acclaimed performance together a narcoleptic street hustler in Gus van Sant’s My very own Private Idaho.

It seemed favor this actor would become a major movie star. Sadly, in October 1993, Phoenix fell down outside of an LA nightclub in prior of Rain and also brother Joaquin. Lock rushed him to Cedars-Sinai medical Center, where medical professionals pronounced the 23-year-old dead. As noted by The brand-new York Times, the coroner found “deadly level of cocaine and morphine” in his system.

Next: This actress courageously fought her diagnosis.

8. Michelle thomas (1968–1998)

Most known for: The Cosby Show, Family MattersCause the death: Stomach cancer

Early in she career, Michelle Thomas became a mainstay on sitcom television. She very first appeared as Justine Phillips on The Cosby Show, playing Theo Huxtable’s girl friend for three years. ~ that, Thomas had a couple of smaller duties and also appeared in music videos for artists favor Boyz II Men and Dru Hill. Her an initial leading function came in 1993, together Myra Monkhouse in Family Matters. 

A year before Family Matters went off the waiting (1997), thomas was diagnosed v a rare type of stomach cancer. Medical professionals surgically gotten rid of the tumor, prior to a second cancerous growth appeared in 1998. Surrounding by she family, the 30-year-old died shortly after the development ruptured.

Next: A destructive accident spelled bad news for this kid star.

9. Sammi Kane Kraft (1992–2012)

Most recognized for: Bad News BearsCause the death: Car accident

Death by a vehicle crash is something we wouldn’t great on ours worst enemy. Sadly, the kid star of the 2012 Bad News Bears remake suffered this fate. The 20-year-old was along for the ride as soon as her auto got rear-ended by a semi-truck and hit by one more vehicle.

Most well-known for: The Fast and also the FuriousCause that death: Car accident

The Fast and the Furious star Paul Walker also appeared in many movies and also TV shows as a child, including Highway come Heaven and also Throb. His huge break came once he was cast in 1986’s Monster in the Closet, a horror comedy movie that also featured Stacy Ferguson (of black Eyed Peas), Howard Duff, and also John Carradine.

Walker’s biggest career success come as an adult as soon as he played Brian O’Conner in 2001’s The Fast and the Furious. The film’s crate office success caused roles in other significant movies like Timeline, Into the Blue, and Flags of our Fathers. He reprised his role as Brian O’Conner in five The Fast and the Furious sequels, including 2015’s blockbuster Furious 7.

On Nov. 30, 2013, walker left a advantage event because that his with Out an international charity in a Porsche thrust by a friend. The driver lost control of the car, and also the fiery crash killed both men. According to investigators cited by CNN, the cause of the accident to be “unsafe rate for the roadway conditions.” Walker had actually recently turned 40 year old.

Next: A terrible bar fight eliminated this Harry Potter actor.

11. Rob Knox (1989–2008)

Most well-known for: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceCause that death: Murder

English gibbs Rob Knox appeared to it is in on the cusp of a promising job after securing the role of Marcus Belby in the movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Although his portrayal that Belby in the 6th Harry Potter film is his most renowned role, Knox had previous acting experience on multiple brother TV shows, and a small component in the 2004 movie King Arthur.

On may 24, 2008, Knox to be stabbed five times in the chest outside a bar in London as he make the efforts to defend his brothers from an attacker, reported the BBC. Knox was only 18 year old once he died. In 2009, his attacker, knife Bishop, was sentenced to life in prison through no possibility of parole because that 20 years.

Next: A freak accident horrified this actor’s fans.

12. Anton Yelchin (1989–2016)

Most well-known for: Star TrekCause the death: freak accident

The loss of Anton Yelchin in 2016 shook up Hollywood. The Russian-born actor started his career at 12 years old, starring in Along come a Spider and Hearts in Atlantis and appearing in some smaller TV roles. Yelchin obtained his rest in Steven Spielberg’s 2002 alien abduction-centric Taken miniseries. Points took turn off from there, as he starred in Alpha Dogs, Charlie Bartlett, and Terminator Salvation, among various other projects.

The biggest duty of Yelchin’s job was additionally his last, starring together Pavel Chekov in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot. Tragically, his Jeep Cherokee pinned the 27-year-old against a pillar outside his home, after the auto rolled behind in his driveway — a an outcome of a typical transmission error that later on led to a recall.

Next: one actress dies similarly to the way her character did on TV.

13. Tara Correa-McMullen (1989–2005)

Most recognized for: Judging AmyCause the death: Murder

This 16-year-old rising star’s life ended in corridor violence on the roads of Inglewood, California. Tara Correa-McMullen showed up on the TV show Judging Amy as a teen associated in a gang and also her character was ultimately murdered finishing her time on the show.

Ironically, Inglewood police think Correa-McMullen might have also died at the hand of gang violence. Among the sergeants ~ above the instance indicated that she likely didn’t recognize the shooters, yet other sources claimed she was date an older guy from a gang.

Next: This lover actress’s death devastated and confused she fans.

14. Brittany Murphy (1977–2009)

Most recognized for: Clueless, 8 MileCause the death: Pneumonia and other factors

Brittany Murphy showed up in countless TV sitcoms and also commercials prior to her large break in the 1995 fight comedy Clueless. In the film, Murphy portrayed an “ugly duckling” high college student who receives a makeover by a well-known girl, played by Alicia Silverstone. Loosely based upon Jane Austen’s novel Emma, Clueless garnered critical acclaim and also led to Murphy’s duties in significant movies like Girl, Interrupted8 Mile; and Sin City. She also lent her voice to the animated TV present King of the Hill.

On Dec. 20, 2009, Murphy fell down in she home and emergency services took her to the hospital. She got in cardiac arrest and also doctors pronounced she dead. According to the autopsy report obtained by CNN, Murphy had “acute pneumonia” and suffered native a “chronic steel deficiency.” The report also noted the existence of lot of cold drugs in Murphy’s system, which might have contributed to the 32-year-old’s death.

Although Murphy’s fatality was ruled accidental, assorted conspiracy theory blame her fatality on whatever from toxic mold come harassment by the U.S. Room of landscape Security, together reported by The Huffington Post. The an enig surrounding this young star’s fatality only deepened ~ Murphy’s husband, Simon Monjack, died under similar circumstances five months later in the very same house.

Next: This star knowledgeable drugs and also sexual abuse at a young age.

15. Corey Haim (1971–2010)

Most known for: Silver Bullet, LucasCause that death: Pulmonary congestion

As his exhilaration career took off, Corey Haim’s an individual life spiraled out of control. As noted in Corey Feldman’s memoir Coreyography, both gibbs used tough drugs in ~ a young age. Feldman additionally claimed they to be both sexually abused as kids by civilization in the movie industry, and also that this trauma likely sustained Haim’s self-destructive behavior. As soon as Haim’s popular waned in the beforehand ’90s, his medicine addiction became an ext serious despite numerous attempts to obtain clean in rehab.

On march 10, 2010, one unresponsive Haim was uncovered by his mom in their mutual apartment. At the hospital, medical professionals pronounced the 38-year-old dead. According to accessibility Hollywood, the coroner identified that pulmonary jam — no a medicine overdose — resulted in his death. However, many believe Haim’s years of medicine abuse may have actually indirectly added by acquisition a toll on his as whole health.

Next: Sadly, this Disney star saw suicide as his only option.

16. Lee Thompson Young (1984–2013)

Most well-known for: The famous Jett JacksonCause of death: Suicide

Serving together a lovely Disney Channel star, Lee Thompson Young landed his first role as the command in The well known Jett Jackson at 14 years old. He shortly parlayed that success right into a Jett Jackson TV movie, and also a supporting role in Johnny Tsunami. After that, he showed up in a collection of guest spots on reflects like The Guardian, Smallville, and South Beach. 

In 2013, the 23-year-old passed away in his apartment native a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Young had actually suffered v depression and bipolar disorder, and was taking medication come treat both issues.

Next: Unusual take trip circumstances brought about this boy star’s death.

17. Matthew Garber (1956–1977)

Most recognized for: Mary PoppinsCause the death: Hepatitis

Matthew Garber’s job in Hollywood didn’t last long, yet Disney fans will constantly remember him for his most iconic role, together the young Michael financial institutions in Disney’s Mary Poppins. 

At just two decades old Garber contract hepatitis if on a trip to India. He ultimately traveled residence to London numerous months later, and by that time, the sickness moved to his pancreas. In 1977, Garber passed far in the hospital at the age of 21, indigenous what doctors categorized as hemorrhagic necrotising pancreatitis.

Next: His renowned catchphrase couldn’t conserve this boy actor.

18. Gary Coleman (1968–2010)


Diff’rent Strokes actors Todd Bridges, Conrad Bain, and also Gary Coleman (R) pose because that a photo. | NBC TV/Getty Images

Most recognized for: Diff’rent StrokesCause of death: Brain hemorrhage

Gary Coleman came to be a kid star as Arnold Jackson on the hit TV collection Diff’rent Strokes. On the show, Coleman played one of two African-American brothers adopted by a rich white widower. The present turned the diminutive actor into a pop society phenomenon, many thanks to his character’s memorable catchphrase: “What’chu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?”

Although just a kid on the show, Coleman remained 4-foot-8 transparent his adult life as result of multiple chronic health problems. Unfortunately, money troubles plagued Coleman, regardless of Diff’rent Strokes fame. Together an adult, he uncovered that his parents and also agent had misappropriated his childhood earnings. ~ a successful lawsuit, Coleman got $1.3 million, as reported by Jet magazine.

As he got older, Coleman gained more notoriety because that multiple altercations through fans. That was additionally cited for disorderly conduct for events involving actress Shannon Price, his girlfriend and wife. Coleman’s health issues likely contributed to his early death at the period of 42. On might 28, 2010, after sustaining injuries due to a loss in his home, the troubled gibbs passed away from a brain hemorrhage.

Next: A confrontation resulted in this rascal’s death.

19. Carl Switzer (1927–1959)

Most well-known for: Little RascalsCause that death: Homicide

Although Carl Switzer play a selection of small roles together an adult, pan knew that as among the rascals in Little Rascals. Switzer famously played Alfalfa in MGM’s Our Gang shorts, occurring into a pan favorite personality throughout his tenure (despite rubbing plenty of of his actors members the wrong way).

Switzer’s death tragically came as soon as he was 31. That kicked down the door of who he felt fan him money. That human shot him v a .38 revolver ~ Switzer come at him with a switchblade. Medical professionals pronounced the dead on come at the hospital, after suffering from acute internal bleeding.

Additional reporting by Nick Cannata-Bowman and Ali Harrison.

Michelle Kapusta also contributed to this article.

See more: Child Thrown From Balcony At Mall Of America, Landen, The 5

Bobby Driscoll biographical details space courtesy that IMDb. Unless otherwise noted, every biographical details space courtesy of Biography.com.